UNDERBANK Rangers fell to a third defeat of the year against Warrington Wizards – a result that ended their play-off hopes.
Unable to build on an impressive victory at Dewsbury Celtic 10 days before, Rangers were outclassed 54-14 at the Wilderspool Stadium.
And, as the result brought the curtain down on Rangers’ Conference National campaign, the game also marked the end of coach Aaron Perrin’s reign at the club.
The Australian, along with Dave Edwards, now returns to his native country.
Perrin said: “We were well beaten. We lost Jamie Tarazi on Saturday morning through a knee injury, who is a key attacking player.
“Then, during the game, we lost Marc Hirst (also through a knee injury), so these things didn’t help.
“But, I can’t take too much away from the way Warrington played.
“Their performance was outstanding and I would be very surprised if they don’t now win the grand final.”
In their defeat to the in-form Wizards, a try apiece for Chris Campbell, Wes Lawton, Mark Roughneen and two for Ian Stephenson, gave the hosts a strong 30-4 half-time lead. On 32 minutes, Tom Senior scored Underbank’s only points in the first period.
After the break, adding further misery for the visitors, lan Kilshaw touched down on two occasions and Chris Campbell crossed the line twice to seal his hat trick.
Making the scoreboard look slightly more positive for Underbank, Max Berry and Carl Leach both scored second-half tries.
Looking ahead to next season, if Rangers are once again to challenge for promotion it can be argued they have to improve their record against the top sides in the league – such as Warrington.
With a 100% record over Huddersfield this season, this latest result means that in their last three meetings collectively, Warrington have scored 118 points and conceded just 42.
And, from a recruiting players perspective, departing coach Perrin said Underbank could struggle to keep up with some of the others.
“The biggest problem Rangers face is bringing in people to the club from around the Huddersfield area,” he explained.
“There are some good rugby league players in the town but they would prefer to play in the lower leagues as opposed to testing themselves at a national level.”
Concerned, Perrin added: “For me, this seems a poor attitude from some people in the Huddersfield area. “Because we play in a national competition, they should want to come and play for us.
“But, in reality, they haven’t been coming forward and this season, for example, instead of having 30 players at training, I’ve had far fewer.
“Nevertheless, at the end of this campaign we finished fourth and everyone should be very proud of themselves.”
Chairman Michael Nasey said no decision has been reached on who will take over from Perrin.
“At the end of the game against Warrington I had talks about next season, but we haven’t made our minds up yet,” he explained.
Underbank will hold a presentation night at the Old Bridge Hotel in Holmfirth on October 12.
Warrington Wizards: Campbell, Stephenson, Shaw, Roughneen, Pirrie, Kilshaw, Jaffrey, Worsley, Lawton, Wild, Davidson, Addison, Wilson. Subs: McEvoy, Barron, Yii, McCarthy.
Underbank: Price, Booth, Senior, Vinaka, Oldfield, Perrin, Birt, Leach, Edwards, Lofthouse, Roche, Hirst (Marc), Birchall. Subs: Berry, Bahadori, Jackson, Greenwood.
Referee: Joe Cobb (Leigh).