Warrington Wolves 38 Wakefield Trinity 18 - visitors battle hard after nightmare journey but three-game Super League winning run ends
Wakefield three-game winning run came to an end when they were beaten 38-18 at Warrington Wolves last night.
Having been delayed on the motorway en-route to the stadium, Trinity trailed 14-0 in the first quarter and 26-6 soon after half time, but were still in the contest until the final 10 minutes before Warrington pulled clear with two converted tries.
Both were scored by winger Josh Charnley, who finished with a hat-trick to move up to fifth on Betfred Super League’s list of all-time top try scorers and made an important tackle to prevent a Trinity touchdown in the first half.
Warrington went ahead after eight minutes through Gareth Widdop, who backed up a break by Chris Hill and out-paced Liam Kay on a race to the line.
Seven minutes later Bill Tupou knocked on a kick near his own line and in the resulting set Ben Currie touched down from a last-tackle grubber by Widdop, who again added the extras and then booted a penalty to make it 14-0 with 19 minutes gone.
Dave Fifita’s introduction off the bench gave Trinity some momentum and they had the better of the rest of the half, cutting the gap to 14-6 at the break.
Fifita got the visitors on the front foot with a powerful run before barging over for their first try, from Jacob Miller’s pass close to the line, with 27 minutes gone.
Mason Lino converted and Trinity went close moments later through Kay, but he was shoved into touch by Charnley and Warrington held on to their eight-point lead, despite more pressure from a 40-20 kick by Lino.
Warrington moved up a gear at the start of the second half and struck three minutes after the restart when Jake Momo went over Blake Austin’s pass, after Currie had been held up over the Trinity whitewash.
The attack came from a mistake by Lino, who knocked on deep in Wakefield territory and the visitors shot themselves in the foot again in the next set, conceding two six-agains, either sides of a penalty.
Inevitably, the pressure told as Austin again came up with the final pass, this time to Charnley.
Widdop converted both and Warrington suddenly had a firm grip on the game, holding a 26-6 advantage, but Trinity refused to go away.
They came up with a fast response through Joe Arundel, who was put through a huge gap by Miller’s clever pass, Lino adding the goal.
Toby King and Stefan Ratchford both missed chances to seal the game, each off smart play by Widdop and Wakefield were close to narrowing the gap further through Lee Kershaw, but King pulled him down just short.
Warrington finally put the result out of Trinity’s reach with 10 minutes left when Charnley finished powerfully at the corner, from Mamo’s pass after he had been set up by Ratchford.
Charnley completed his hat-trick in the next set, getting past Kay off a long pass from Austin, both tries being converted off the touchline by Widdop to maintain his 100 per cent kicking record.
Kershaw had a strong game for Trinity and grabbed a consolation try with an excellent finish on the final play, Lino adding the extras after the hooter.
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford, Lineham, Mamo, King, Charnley, Austin, Widdop, Hill, D Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Philbin. Subs Mulhern, Davis, Akauola, D Walker.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Kershaw, Lyne, Tupou, Kay, Miller, Lino, Battye, B Walker, Arona, Arundel, Pitts, Westerman. Subs K Wood, Batchelor, Aydin, Fifita.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths (Widnes).