Warrington Wolves 80 Keighley Cougars 0

Cougars player-coach Jason Demetriou accepted that his side had been outclassed as “awesome” Warrington ran in 14 tries without reply to ease into the fifth round of the Challenge Cup.

Lee Briers racked up 32 points and 19-year-old scrum half Gareth O’Brien made a try-scoring debut for his home-town club as the holders just fell short of their record 84-1 win over York in 2000.

Demetriou, whose side conceded their first try to hat-trick man Ryan Atkins after just 67 seconds, said: “We came up against one of the best teams in the world.

“They barely made an error. They were awesome and very clinical.

“We tried to play open rugby and didn’t resort to any dirty tactics. We were doing okay at 6-0 after 17 minutes but we ran out of gas. This was a chance to forget the league for 80 minutes but that is our priority.”

The Wolves’ only setback came when Ben Harrison was carried off on a stretcher after only ten minutes with a suspected broken leg. However, it was later diagnosed that the player had damaged ankle ligaments.

Wolves coach Tony Smith, who rested five regulars in addition to the injured Richie Myler, hailed the performance of Briers, who finished with two tries and 12 goals.

The former England coach said: “Lee was terrific and for a while it was the Lee Briers show. He controlled everything, while young Gareth O’Brien had a good debut.

“My players ticked all the boxes and we hardly made any errors. I cannot fault any of my boys.

“But I went into the Keighley dressing shed after the match to compliment their players’ effort and discipline.

“They should not read too much into the result. I was highly impressed by Keighley’s discipline and you have to compliment their player-coach Jason Demetriou.”

The Wolves led 34-0 at half-time and at one time it looked as though Keighley might be heading for a record defeat, their heaviest previous loss being 92-2 at Leigh in 1996.

But conditions became difficult in the second half, with torrential rain helping their cause.

Other Warrington tries came from Rhys Williams (2), Simon Grix, Paul Wood, Mike Cooper, Matt King, Michael Monaghan and Rhys Evans.

Warrington: Riley, Williams, Blythe, Atkins, King, Briers, O’Brien, Carvell, Higham, Cooper, Solomona, Grix, Harrison. Replacements: M. Monaghan, Morley, Wood, Evans.

Keighley: Duffy, Sagar, Lawton, Baines, Hutchinson, Demetriou, Smith, Shickell, Feather, Benjafield, Cartledge, Pursglove, Shepherd. Replacements: Wray, Barr, Law, Nicholson.

Referee: George Stokes (RFL); Crowd: 6,583