By Press Association Sport
Last Updated: 10/08/18 11:41pm
Tom Lineham scored a hat-trick on the night for Warrington
Warrington thrashed Catalans Dragons 56-6 in the opening round of the Super 8s in a game that was billed as a dress rehearsal for the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final.
While this game will have little bearing on the clash at Wembley later this month, it did showcase the attacking talent of Warrington for whom half-backs Kevin Brown and Tyrone Roberts ran the show.
Winger Tom Lineham scored a hat-trick as the home side stormed to their biggest league win of the season against an inexperienced Catalans side.
Both coaches took the opportunity to rest players after gruelling semi-finals last Sunday.
Steve McNamara rested seven of the Dragons team which shocked St Helens including Josh Drinkwater and Tony Gigot.
His counterpart Steve Price also made a number of personnel and positional changes, with Stefan Ratchford and Mike Cooper notable absentees.
The home side raced into a 22-0 lead against a team with whom they drew 22-22 in the Betfred Super League just a few weeks ago and continued to add tries at regular intervals in the second half.
Warrington opened the scoring after only five minutes when Roberts broke through and he had Josh Charnley on his right shoulder to finish off in the corner.
It was a landmark try for the former Wigan winger, as it saw him draw level with Kirk Yeaman in 10th place in the list of Super League’s all-time try scorers.
Catalans Dragons head home and will face Wigan Warriors next
It is seven years since Catalans last won in Warrington but they forced three consecutive drop-outs as they looked to respond quickly.
Having failed to create a clear chance despite so much possession, they were heavily punished by Warrington who produced a burst of three tries in the 11 minutes before half-time.
Lineham produced an acrobatic finish to score in the corner having been set up by Roberts, then Mitch Brown showed great strength to spin away from four Dragons defenders and reach over for the try. Conversions from Declan Patton gave Warrington a 16-0 lead.
Four minutes before the break, Lineham scored his second try, cashing in on crisp build-up play by Kevin and Mitch Brown and debutant Bodene Thompson. Patton again kicked the goal.
Warrington started the second half with just as much intent and Kevin Brown crashed over in a manner which would have been more befitting of a prop forward. Patton’s goal made it 28-0.
Some clever interplay resulted in Warrington’s sixth try in the 54th minute when Roberts raced onto a reverse kick by Kevin Brown. Patton again added the extras.
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The one-way traffic continued – Charnley broke dangerously up the touchline and his pass inside had Toby King in support to score in the 59th minute and Patton kicked the goal to make it 40-0.
Bryson Goodwin provided a perfectly-timed pass for Patton to scorch 40 metres for the night’s best try with 14 minutes remaining and Patton added the goal himself.
From the restart, Goodwin again broke free before handing on to Kevin Brown and there was Joe Philbin to race away. Patton’s goal made it 52-0.
With time almost up, Catalans broke their duck when David Mead went in from close range for a try which Lucas Albert converted.
There was still time for Lineham to complete his hat-trick with a stylish finish in the corner.