WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats will go into the play-offs with a Super League club record of seven straight wins thanks to a 42-34 victory over Salford City Reds on Saturday night.
Richard Agar's men had already secured a top-eight spot before kick-off at the Leigh Sports Village thanks to Catalans Dragons' victory over Bradford Bulls but Wakefield continued their winning momentum ahead of their play-off clash at Leeds Rhinos next Saturday.
Wakefield's seven-try success was more emphatic than the close scoreline suggested after they took their foot off the gas late on to allow the Reds post a couple of consolation tries, something Agar confirmed his side would need to improve on for the trip to Headingley Carnegie.
The only change to the side that beat Widnes Vikings last time out was Frankie Mariano starting in place of Ali Lauitiiti, who was withdrawn after the warm-up as a precaution. Kyle Trout came in as a replacement.
Things had looked comfortable for Wildcats early on as they raced into an 18-0 lead, no doubt buoyed by Catalans' victory over Bradford and by a big Wakefield support that outnumbered the Salford fans. The Reds had to move the game from their Salford City Stadium base due to Sale Sharks playing there on the same day.
Both sides exchanged early sets before Frankie Mariano burst through for the first try. Paul Sykes kicked the first of a magnificent seven conversions.
Andy Raleigh and Dean Collis also crossed the whitewash early on to see Wakefield in full control of the clash.
Salford hit back through winger Danny Williams and former Wildcat Sean Gleeson but the visitors had the last say of the half when Paul Johnson had his try confirmed by the video referee to give Wakefield a 24-12 half-time lead.
Wakefield took their momentum into the second half and winger Ben Cockayne crossed the line for his 100th career try, taking a Tim Smith pass to extend his side's lead.
Vinnie Anderson pulled a score back for Salford and Wakefield had to defend well to thwart more Reds danger before Peter Fox went in at the corner and then Lee Smith spotted a gap in the Salford defence to get on the try-scoring sheet.
Matty Ashurst scored twice and Ashley Gibson also crossed the whitewash to make the scoreline more respectable for Salford but Wildcats were worthy winners.
Salford: Veivers, Broughton, Gibson, Gleeson, Williams, Holdsworth, Howarth, Sidlow, Anderson, Boyle, Ashurst, Nero, Wild. Subs: James, Adamson, Owen, Neal.
Wakefield: Mathers, Fox, Collis, L Smith, Cockayne, Sykes, T Smith, Amor, Ellis, Raleigh, Mariano, Kirmond, Washbrook. Subs: Wood, Trout, Johnson, Wilkes.
Referee: Ben Thaler.
See next week's Wakefield Express for full match report, reaction, pictures and look towards Saturday's play-off clash with Leeds Rhinos.