It didn’t look great for the visitors pre-match, never mind during, with several players dropping out of the side in midweek and Warrington currently on hot form. Yet South Wales put in another gutsy performance in the face of adversity.
The hosts won a goal-line drop out from kick off as the ball bounced dead. No points came from the set of play, but Ian Stephenson set up Dan Crampton with an inside pass just a few minutes later to put the Wizards in the lead.
With home fans eyeing up a heavy scoreline having seen their side cross so early, the Hornets almost found themselves through – Karl Jones’ one-handed offload beyond a would-be tackler released Ian Newbury, but his half-back partner slipped as he went through one-on-one with the full-back.
The break seemed to wake the Wizards up, and two quick-fire tries near the 20-minute mark were to follow.
The first effort came from Paul Alcock who crashed over from close range, and Paul Reynolds finished off a move following a Hayden James break for the next try.
South Wales rallied, and it was Newbury who turned provider; setting up Aaron Atkin to go over for a debut try. Shortly after, Mike Hurley looked to have burrowed his way over only for the referee to determine that he had been held up.
Again, that only seemed to refocus a Wizards side pushing hard at the top of the table as James Rosson touched down before Alcock got his second to give his team a 22-point cushion at the interval.
The start to the second half was more encouraging for South Wales, and this time it was the visitors who received a goal-line drop out as Jones’ kick forced Troy Brophy behind his own try line and Liam Watton kept him there.
This gifted the Welsh outfit some field position, and although the second score didn’t come straight away, plenty of pressure finally saw the Wizards crack.
Jones provided the chip that created the play, and Warrington failed to deal with it. Rob Davies collected the loose ball and he set up Watton to go in just next to the posts.
That effort seemed to do more harm than good however, as the Wizards went on to score six more tries and 28 unanswered points as the Hornets’ lack of a full bench caught up with them.
The first came when a long-range pass from Sean Conway found Ryan Jones, and he sucked in the defence, being able to then shift the ball to Rosson in plenty of space on the wing.
Reynolds added the next two to secure his hat trick. Christian Taylor followed him over before Brophy crossed after a fine one-handed offload from Ryan Jones, and Dan Stubbs completed the scoring diving over from acting half.
The Hornets have dropped a place below Bramley Buffaloes – victorious on Sunday against Coventry Bears – whilst the Wizards remain second, despite drawing level on points with Hemel Stags on the Saturday with this victory.
Wizards: Brophy, Rosson, Stout, Jones, Taylor, Stephenson, Healey, Crampton, James, Clarke, Alcock, Conway, Reynolds
Interchange: Ayres, Woolvine, Stubbs, Froggatt
Tries: Crampton (3), Alcock (16, 36), Reynolds (18, 54, 65), Rosson (33, 50), Taylor (60), Brophy (75), Stubbs (77)
Goals: Healey 6/11
Hornets: James, A. Watton, L. Watton, Morgan, Hellard, Newbury, Jones, Francis, Hurley, Davies, Phillips, Grigson, Rowe
Interchange: Atkin, Donnelly
Tries: Atkin (24), L. Watton (47)
Goals: Hurley 2/2
Referee: Sam Ansell