Wakefield Wildcats scrape by Widnes Vikings to move into Super League play-offs

WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats moved into the Super League play-offs thanks to a scrappy 22-18 victory over Widnes Vikings at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Sunday night.

A nervy-looking Wakefield side trailed Dennis Betts's men 10-6 at half-time but battled away in the second half to claim a crucial win, their sixth in the row, to move above Bradford Bulls into eighth with a game to go.

Rhys Hanbury was the visitors' key man, scoring either side of Kyle Amor's try to give the Vikings the half-time lead as Richard Agar's side struggled to produce the attacking flair that had served them so well in their last five outings.

Richie Mathers got the hosts back on level terms ten minutes after the restart but Wakefield couldn't build on their score and Widnes regained the lead for a third time through winger Paddy Flynn.

The game took another twist when good work by Frankie Mariano allowed Ali Lauitiiti in for a try and Paul Sykes's penalty, coming just after Flynn had been sin-binned for Widnes, edged Wakefield ahead for the first time.

Hanbury's own 40-metre penalty levelled things up again but Wildcats skipper Danny Kirmond scored the winning try late on to push Wakefield in to the play-offs.

Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Collis, L Smith, Cockayne, Sykes, Smith, Amor, Ellis, Raleigh, Lautiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Subs: Wood, Mariano, Johnson, Wilkes.

Vikings: Briscoe, Flynn, Marsh, Phelps, Isa, Craven, Hanbury, Pickersgill, Clarke, Kite, Winterstein, Allen, Cahill. Subs: Davies, Kavanagh, Gerrard, McShane.

Attendance: 8,234.

Referee: James Child.

See next week's Wakefield Express for full report, reaction and look ahead to the Wildcats' final match of the season at Salford.