WAKEFIELD TRINITY have flown under the radar this season, but remain in contention for a top-four finish in Betfred Super League after a 26-12 home victory over Warrington Wolves.
Trinity dominated most of a dour clash to end their three-game losing run and move within a win of securing at least fifth place before the Super-8s begin next month.
With three games remaining in the regular season they are only two points outside second spot and that is a remarkable situation for a team who lost all their Super-8s fixtures last season and were in the million pound match – after finishing 11 points adrift in Super League – two years ago.
Without breaking the bank Trinity have built a competitive squad who play good rugby.
Their attack never really got into gear against a desperate, but poor Warrington side, but they defended strongly and were worthy winners.
Liam Finn kicked them ahead with an early penalty goal and they refused to panic when Warrington scored the opening try, Brad Dwyer going over from acting-half and Stefan Ratchford adding the extras.
Hooker Kyle Wood’s error proved costly in the previous week’s defeat at Hull, but he bounced back in good style and sent Bill Tupou over for the hosts’ opening touchdown.
Tupou also impressed and forced Warrington’s Peta Hiku to drop the ball over the Wakefield line soon afterwards.
Finn converted and added a penalty and Trinity opened a 14-6 half-time lead through Ben Jones-Bishop’s touchdown, from a cut-out ball by Sam Williams, soon after Reece Lyne had failed to find him with a pass when he had a walk-in at the corner..
Wood dummied over early in the second half and Finn added the extras, but then Trinity prop Keegan Hirst was sin-binned for dangerous contact on Daryl Clark and Chris Hill took advantage to go over from a pass by Kurt Gidley for a try which Ratchford improved.
Trinity were on a team warning at that stage and were placed on another 12 minutes later. The penalty count finished a hefty 12-11 in the visitors’ favour.
Wakefield had a couple of opportunities to kick a penalty goal to open a 10-point lead, but instead opted to go for a killer try and that came six minutes from time when Dean Hadley’s pass was finished by Mason Caton-Brown and Finn converted to complete the scoring.
There was a long delay early in the second half after Warrington’s 18-year-old full-back Will Dagger, who is from Pontefract, suffered a neck injury. He was taken off on a stretcher and needed hospital treatment but discharged before the end of the weekend.
Wakefield Trinity: Grix, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Caton-Brown, Williams, Finn, Walker, Wood, Huby, Ashurst, Hadley, Arona. Subs Arundel, Annakin, Hirst, England.
Warrington Wolves: Dagger, Johnson, Hiku, Atkins, Penny, Ratchford, Gidley, Hill, Dwyer, Cooper, Jullien, Hughes, Philbin. Subs Clark, Sims, Savelio, Wilde.
Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).