Well, not quite. But you know what we mean.
It’s definitely back, isn’t it?
The hype, the anticipation, the twinge of pure excitement, the sheer fucking misery and let down of it all.
Welcome back aboard the rollercoaster ride that is following Warrington RLFC. Strap yourselves in, we’re in store for ten months of this.
After what seems like the longest off-season ever, our beloved boys in primrose and blue did what they seem to do best: let us down like a lead balloon on the opening weekend.
They say, whoever they are, that forwards win rugby games and backs decide by how much.
Well, in our case, on Saturday night in Perpignan, it was our forwards that lost us the game, rather than the Catalans’ pack winning it, and our backs that decided by how much.
While our pack, on paper at least, looks amongst – if not the – strongest in the competition, we really need to cut out the stupid penalties pronto.
Penalties gifted the Dragons field position and our errors in defence allowed them in for some soft tries – none softer than when Rhys Evans failed to take a bomb on the full then flapped like a flag in the wind as he was about to be bundled into touch. Rather than take the tackle and defend a set from the resulting scrum, the Welsh again international flicked a wild pass to the invisible man, allowing Richie Myler-Skelton the easiest try of his career.
It was a big blow after quite a positive start in truth, with new signing Andre Savelio bursting onto Gidley’s flat pass to open the scoring for the 2017 season, with his fellow former Latchford junior adding the extras.
After Helen’s Husband reduced the deficit to 6-4, it was all Catalans in all honesty – mainly down to our ill-discipline. We were placed on a team warning before the break and a Luke Walsh penalty goal levelled the scores going into half-time.
With the team still on a warning, Tom Lineham was sent to the Sin Bin at the start of the second half for an indiscretion that occurred during a repeat set forced upon ourselves when Matty Russell spilled a high kick on his own try line.
More penalties, more pressure and more points as we eventually buckled from the sheer weight of possession and Greg Bird stopped hitting his girlfriend for just about long enough to crash over from short range.
Walsh again extended their lead with a simple two points, giving the Dragons a 14-6 cushion going into the vinegar strokes of the game.
It proved a bit of a kick up the arse for our lads, who threw the ball wide and Ashton Sims provided the best piece of centre play the club has seen for many years with an over-the-head-fingertip-flick-pass that found Evans with just enough room to squeeze over in the corner.
‘Our Dec’ landed the two points with a pearl of a touchline conversion, but it was too little, too late and, as was to be expected, we fucked up trying to force the ball and Brayden Williame put the proverbial exclamation point on what was a dismal night.
We’d like to point out at this stage that nothing we have seen over the opening weekend of the season shakes the opinions we shared a couple of weeks ago with respects to our preview of the season, but we would like to give a shoutout to Rochdale Hornets in the Championships.
We never bothered with a write of our friendly with them – mainly because we didn’t go – but the club have been building steadily over the last few years with Alan Kilshaw in charge and a healthy contingent of Warrington lads in the squad, not least Chris Riley. They are also our dual-reg/partnership club this season and use the training facilities at Padgate Campus. They sit top of the Championship after two impressive wins from their opening two rounds and for those are that way inclined, are well worth keeping an eye on this season with the brand of rugby they play. They’re our – admittedly late – tip to be a surprise package this season. If anyone’s arsed.