Wakefield Trinity 26 Widnes Vikings 6: Trinity book quarter-final spot despite lacklustre display against Vikings

Wakefield Trinity are just two wins away from their first Wembley appearance since 1979.

Friday, 10th May 2019, 10:39 pm
Max Jowiitt scored Trinity's first try of the evening. PIC: James Heaton.

It was somewhat fitting that their latest Challenge Cup victory came against Widnes Vikings, the side they infamously lost to in their last final outing four decades ago.

Widnes triumphed 12-3 in the final on May 5, 1979 but Wakefield made sure they were the side who kept their Wembley dream alive in 2019.

Head coach Chris Chester opted to rest hooker Tyler Randell while George King was unavailable as he attended the birth of his child.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

David Fifita's try put Wakefield in front. PIC: James Heaton.

That meant another 80-minute stint for Kyle Wood while Danny Kirmond was also called upon after he was due to be rested.

Wakefield stuttered to victory, as a hectic fixture schedule and a mounting injury list looked to be catching up with them.

Trinity couldn't get to grips with the contest in the first half hour, with constant dropped ball preventing them from taking control.

However, three tries in the final seven minutes gave Trinity a comfortable-enough victory in the end.

Chances were few and far between for the hosts for most of the game as Danny Kirmond broke but saw his pass knocked forward before a fresh set 10 metres out was blown on the first tackle.

Widnes punished Trinity's lacklustre approach midway through the half as Lloyd Roby dived on Danny Craven's grubber to give the Championship side a surprise lead.

Wakefield finally started to find some joy in attack and levelled just after the 30-minute mark.

Max Jowitt interchanged passes with Craig Kopczak before planting down under the crossbar - after he had initially ran into the post protector.

However, the try failed to spark Wakefield into life as Widnes enjoyed the better field position for the rest of the half.

But despite Trinity's error-ridden first-half display, Widnes - who were missing the likes of Anthony Gelling and Harrison Hansen - rarely threatened.

Wakefield came out firing at the beginning of the second half and were soon in front thanks to star player Dave Fifita.

Fifita chased his own kick through and pounced on Jack Owens' error to dot down underneath the posts.

The forward is now on seven tries for the season and has so often proved a source of inspiration for this Trinity side in 2019.

Wakefield still couldn't get a hold on proceedings but were rarely troubled by a blunt Vikings attack.

Justin Horo almost put the game beyond Widnes but he spilled the ball over the line just after the hour.

Trinity were handed an advantage with 15 minutes to go as visitng full-back Owens was sent off for dissent.

The home side then made sure of their place in the quarter finals with a well-worked try on 73 minutes.

Lee Kershaw produced a superb clearing run, sprinting 60 metres before being hauled down.

Trinity moved the ball wide to Reece Lyne - making his 150th appearance for the club - who sent Ben Jones-Bishop over for a trademark try in the corner.

Kershaw had a try of his own minutes later, finishing acrobatically in the corner after the ball had been shifted to the left.

Horo added Trinity's final score with the last play of the game, with Ryan Hampshire converting to seal victory.

Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Caton-Brown, Kershaw, Reynolds, Hampshire, Fifita, Wood, Hirst, Kirmond, Horo, Crowther. Subs: Batchelor, Pauli, Kopczak, Annakin.

Widnes Vikings: Owens, Hatton, Roby, Brand, Freeman, Craven, Lyons, T. Chapelhow, Johnstone, Jd. Chapelhow, Wilde, Dean, Cahill. Subs: Norman, Leuluai, Farnworth, Walker.

Referee: Gareth Hewer