Waterloo 24-3 Penrith
WATERLOO cemented their mid-table position with a 24-3 win at home to Penrith and can now go into the Christmas break confident of further progress in the new year.
“It was a great way to complete this part of the season and compared to where the club were this time last year we certainly have made good progress," was director of rugby Jan Van Deventer's comment after the game.
"Penrith have been putting some good performances together in recent weeks so it was great to get the win."
In a sparkling opening ten minutes the Merseysiders took a 14-0 lead through tries from James O'Brien, the winger scooting down the left hand side before taking his opposite number on the outside and Gary Lunt who came up in support of an initial break by Liam Reeve who added both conversions.
Enjoying the majority of possession and territory Waterloo were in control throughout the half, allowing the visitors no more than two incursions onto home turf and although Steve Wood slotted a penalty, Reeve hit back for a 17-3 lead at the break.
The second half proved a nondescript affair but in the closing seconds with Penrith under pressure on their own line O'Brien snaffled up a loose pass for Dan Palmer to send Andrew Trotter over, Reeve again on hand with the extras.
Waterloo are now in eighth place on 36 points and happily a full 15 points above the relegation zone.
However despite the euphoria at the win and the current league position Deventer wanted to add a word of caution.
"We go into the second half of the season with a lot of confidence," he said. "However we need to keep our feet firmly on the ground as I believe this side has still a long way to go. We are in eighth spot at the moment but I want us to rise further up the table before the end of the season. We are capable, but only if we put in the 'hard yards'."
Waterloo now take a two week break before returning to action away to Morley on January 7.
"We are all looking forward to the break," Deventer admitted, "but we need to keep sharp and although there will be some change to the training schedule I will be expecting all the boys to keep up with their personal fitness."
Some good news for the club is that last season's player of the year Adam Anderson is expected to return having recovered from a broken collar bone as is Nick Christopherson who is expected back towards the end of January.