12 man Wakefield Wildcats fell to a 44-24 defeat against Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium.
Justin Poore was sent-off for punching Wigan forward Liam Farrell in the opening 15 minutes and the hosts capitalised with Sam Tomkins scoring a hat-trick of tries in a nine score victory.
The bad news started before kick-off as captain Danny Kirmond was ruled out with a sore knee while Reece Lyne also missed out from the 19-man squad. That meant Lee Smith was reinstated into the centres while Chris Annakin made his full debut, starting in the second-row.
Vince Mellars joined Annakin with a powerful bench of Andy Raleigh, Ali Lauitiiti and Kyle Amor with Kyle Wood recalled to the interchange bench.
The Wildcats got off to a nightmare start after they failed to collect the kick-off and Ian Thornley scored off the back of that error. Sam Tomkins found a hole in the visitors line, before passing out wide for the winger to finish.
The bad start continued as Anthony Gelling scored after Peter Fox did his bets to tackle the winger into touch with Smith making it 10-0 with his boot.
Then the Poore saw red after he floored Wigan second-rower Liam Farrell. The prop forward was taking a carry inside his own half.
Then out of nowhere Mellars picked up the ball and stepped past three Wigan men, including Tomkins to score a sensational try.
Minutes later Richard Mathers was on the end of a Paul Aiton break as the hooker scurried up field before passing inside to the full-back. Michael McIlorum dived to try and catch the ball but he only pushed the ball into the in-goal area where Mathers pounced on the ball.
The Wildcats lead was short lived though as the visitors gave away another penalty which they scored off the back of. Wigan used the extra man to their advantage by working the overlap for Thornley to score his second of the day.
Two quick tries from the hosts then laid the platform as Shaun Wane’s men dominated the score line from then on. Tomkins went over for a try himself as he raced 20 metres to score before Darrell Goulding scored to make it 26-12.
Farrell regained his composure after his earlier altercation with Poore to score before Wakefield ended the half with a little bit of pressure as Cockayne thought he’d scored. The winger burrowed his way over the line but referee Robert Hicks ruled he was held up.
Wakefield went into the break trailing 30-12 and without full-back Mathers after he limped off the field with Sykes reverting to the number one role with Wood in the halves.
Gelling then scored his second while Tomkins joined the winger on a brace of tries to make it 38-12.
The game then evened up somewhat and Lee Smith sped over and finished nicely under pressure by the Warriors.
The game appeared to be drifting to an uneventful end before Aiton was on the end of some great attacking play by Wood with Sykes making it 38-24 with 12 minutes remaining.
The small chance of any comeback was soon dashed as Sam Tomkins raced clear and despite Annakin’s best efforts the full-back scored to put the game to bed at 44-24.
Warriors: Tomkins, Thornley, Goulding, Hughes, Gelling, Green, Smith, Crosby, McIlorum, Flower, Tuson, Farrell & Burke. Bench: Dudson, Taylor, Powell & Spencer.
Wildcats: Mathers (c), Fox, Collis, L.Smith, Cockayne, Sykes, T.Smith, Poore, Aiton, Wilkes, Annakin, Mellars & Washbrook. Bench: Raleigh, Wood, Lauitiiti & Amor.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.