Warrington wallop winless Broncos to top Super League

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Warrington wallop winless Broncos to top Super League

Warrington Wolves thumped winless London Broncos 58-4 to move top of the Betfred Super League table and send their opponents back to the bottom.

Wire full-back Stefan Ratchford managed eight successive kicks to equal the first-class high of 41 on the trot, beating Leeds Rhinos’ Rhyse Martin’s Super League haul of 39 in the process, before missing the chance to set a new best of 42.

Ratchford also added a try, one of 10 the rampant Wolves managed on the afternoon.

Matt Dufty and James Thewlis each scored a hat-trick of tries, with Adam Holroyd notching his first two in the competition.

Warrington, with four wins from five, are now ahead of Wigan Warriors, St Helens and Catalans Dragons on points difference, although Wigan have a game in hand.

Broncos’ only score came from Hakim Miloudi as they dropped below fellow pointless side Castleford Tigers following a fifth straight loss since promotion, with head coach Mike Eccles viewing this reverse as his side’s worst display of the season.

Story of the game

Adam Holroyd of Warrington Wolves celebrates scoring his team's first try against London Broncos (SWpix)

Image: Adam Holroyd celebrates scoring Warrington’s first try of the afternoon

London’s habit of conceding early continued as Holroyd ran a direct line at the heart of the Broncos defence and managed to touch the ball down despite the hosts’ efforts to hold it up.

London’s poor defence was then breached again as Warrington doubled their lead in clinical fashion – scrum-half Leon Hayes producing some smart footwork before the quick ball was spread wide to the unmarked Thewlis.

Warrington highlighted the gulf in quality between the two sides as they scored their third try inside 12 minutes; Connor Wrench outmuscling his marker before playing a simple offload to Holroyd.

Broncos’ attack has been good in recent weeks – they put 22 points on the board in their defeat to Wigan earlier this month – and Miloudi slid over in the left-hand corner against Wolves.

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London made good ground into Warrington territory but their work was undone after another defensive error, with Dufty jumping onto a loose ball, skinning two defenders and showing an explosive turn of speed from 80 metres out.

The second half was more of the same, with Thewlis picking out the corner again to grab his second try and Dufty running through to score a double before Thewlis completed his hat-trick minutes later.

James Harrison got in on the act, pouncing on an intricate kick behind the defence and Dufty then got his third in Wolves’ preferred right-hand corner before Ratchford bagged the final try and duly converted it.

Burgess ‘gutted’ as Ratchford misses out on new kicking record

Wolves head coach Sam Burgess: “Stef is a great kicker, he’ll be pretty disappointed with the one he missed. It’s not like Stef. He practises hard, he’ll be gutted with not kicking the 42nd one but he’ll be happy with the other 41.

“[He has] courage to take all the kicks, which is why it’s funny he missed the one in front of the posts almost. He’s a great team player. It’s an exceptional record, it’s not easy to do that. I’m gutted that he missed the last one.

“London are a tough team and thankfully we have players who can find space. We took all our chances and we didn’t leave a lot out there. That was the difference really.”

Will Lovell of London Broncos looks dejected after the heavy defeat to Warrington Wolves (SWpix)

Image: London Broncos have lost all five of their matches since promotion

Broncos head coach Mike Eccles: “In areas it was probably the worst we’ve been and they were really good. I think that was probably the worst performance that we’ve had.

“It’s the physicality which we are struggling with and size, being able to contain them. We’re being compromised a lot at the minute.”

What’s next?

The sides meet again in the Challenge Cup next Saturday, before returning to Super League action the following weekend with Wolves welcoming Catalans Dragons on Saturday March 30 (3pm) and Broncos hosting Huddersfield Giants on Sunday March 31 (3pm).

Watch every match of the 2024 Betfred Super League season, including Rivals Round, Magic Weekend, the play-offs, and men’s, women’s and wheelchair Grand Finals, live on Sky Sports.

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