SPOILS SHARED IN A BRIGHT START FOR THE WARRIORS
Two well matched sides fought out an honourable draw as they built up their preparations towards the news season.
The match was a fierce contest from start to finish and, for the neutral, was surely a cracking game to watch. Both the Warriors and Swindon showed their potential before the West of England campaign starts on 14 May with some good attacking play and solid defence.
The opening minutes went from end to end with neither side giving an inch. However, it was the Warriors pack that won the arm wrestle in the middle of the field and opened the scoring with ten minutes gone.
Props Jake Thompson and Ben Brinkworth put in some massive carries as the Warriors made big metres out of their own half before Paul Bolger’s excellent wide pass gave Hector Silva space to make more ground.
On the last tackle, Sam Conway put up a superb bomb from which eluded the Swindon full back and Alex Hoyle showed his quality to pick the ball out the air and ground the ball. Kieran Cox was wide with the conversion.
The Warriors dominated the first half with some great individual performances. Charlie Gaulder was solid in defence while PJ Muldowney caused havoc out wide every time he touched the ball.
The whole pack who were as destructive as they could be especially Thompson who carried his good form in pre-season into the game and second rows Connor Whittall and Ryan Solomon who made dents in the Swindon defence with every run.
To Swindon's credit they held out as the Warriors could only get one further score on the board with the impressive Sean Roberts darting over from dummy half on the 25 minute mark. Cox converted to give the visitors a 10-0 interval lead.
The Warriors made too many errors and their inability to capitalize on the lion’s share of possession during the first period came back to haunt them in the second half as Swindon used their experience and quality on especially down the right to score twice and draw the game.
A well-structured set saw them cross out wide for an unconverted try before their second row broke to score a fine individual try which was converted to level the scores.
As they went for the win, both the Warriors and Swindon were then asked to show off their goal-line defence which by and large proved solid and the final whistle came with the Warriors’ Paul Bolger held inches short of the line.
Head coach Matthew Robinson was pleased with the performance of his team: “I thought our defence was outstanding,” he said after the game. “We must have defended between 20 and 30 sets in our own half and only conceded two tries
“It fills me with a lot of confidence that massive defensive efforts came from the whole team with alex mahoney, Silva, Dean Banks and the Man of the Match PJ Muldowney standing out with their superb efforts.”
Overall a draw was probably a fair result with several players on both sides gaining their first experience of competitive rugby league and others getting back into the groove as the new season draws near.
TEAM: Alex Hoyle; Charlie Gaulder, Harry Gaulder, Patrick Muldowney, Hector Silva; Sam Conway, Kieran Cox; Jake Thompson, Sean Roberts, Ben Brinkworth (Capt.), Dean Cooper, Connor Whittall; Paul Bolger; INTERCHANGE: Ryan Solomon, alex mahoney, Rob Hazeldine, Dean Banks.