WATCH - Warrington Wolves 23 Wakefield Trinity 16: Trinity fightback falls short as relegation scrap set to go to final day
WAKEFIELD TRINTY'S quest for Super League survival will go down to the final day following a narrow defeat at Warrington Wolves.
Wakefield fought back bravely in the second period but couldn’t overturn a 16-point half-time deficit and they now face a crunch game with London Broncos on September 15.
London scored a last-minute try at Hull Kingston Rovers to hand themselves a dramatic victory in East Yorkshire.
It means that there are now four teams locked on 20 points heading into the final round of the campaign.
Wakefield will survive if they beat the Broncos next week while a defeat will leave them needing other teams to do them a favour.
After a frustrating first half at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Morgan Escare got the away side off to the perfect start in the second period as he scythed through the Wire back-line to get Trinity on the board.
Ben Jones-Bishop then weaved his way past three defenders to plant down on the right and drag Wakefield right back into the contest.
Warrington nosed themselves eight points ahead soon after when Bryson Goodwin finished a perfectly-executed pass from the returning Blake Austin.
But Trinity were refusing to give in and Ryan Hampshire kept their hopes of victory alive as he somehow grounded Jacob Miller’s kick.
The Challenge Cup winners were under the cosh and edged themselves seven points ahead with seven minutes to go through Stefan Ratchford’s penalty and Dec Patton’s drop-goal.
Trinity pushed to claw back the deficit but were left frustrated as the Warrington defence held firm.
The visitors attacked with vigour and defended bravely for the whole of the second period and made head coach Chris Chester proud.
He said: “We give ourselves too much to do in the second half. We showed some grit and determination to get ourselves back in the game.”
Wakefield were without Bill Tupou, Chris Annakin and James Batchelor who all picked up season-ending injuries in last weekend’s defeat to Wigan Warriors.
And the away side’s injury woes continued into the game as Danny Kirmond was withdrawn just before the half-hour mark.
The hosts welcomed back star half-back Austin after an ankle injury, although it was another one of their key men, Daryl Clark, who put them ahead.
The visitors gifted the Wolves a fresh set from 10 metres out after kicking the ball out on the full and Clark swiftly punished them, gliding over for the opening try.
Trinity had looked threatening at the other end, forcing back-to-back goal-line dropouts but couldn’t convert their pressure into points.
Warrington added a second try when Ben Currie charged through two defenders to force the ball down in the left corner.
The Wolves were cruising and went further in front as Josh Charnley squeezed past Hampshire on the opposite flank to plant down.
And that try proved to enough to keep Warrington out of Wakefield’s reach for the remainder of the contest.
Warrington: Ratchford, Lineham, Goodwin, King, Charnley, Austin, Patton, Hill, D. Clark, Cooper, Currie, Murdoch-Masila, J. Clark. Substitutes: Philbin, Akauola, Mamo, M. Smith.
Wakefield: Escare, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Arundel, Hampshire, Miller, Brough, Kopczak, Randell, Tangata, Kirmond, Tanginoa, Crowther. Substitutes: Wood, King, Gwaze, Green.
Referee: Chris Kendall (RFL)