A courageous second half fightback from the Wildcats went unrewarded as Salford Red Devils claimed victory.
The Devils led 18-0 at the break thanks to tries for Gareth Hock, Harrison Hansen and Andrew Dixon with Jake Mullaney kicking all three conversions.
Trinity came out a different team in the second half and there were debut tries for Matty Ryan and Pita Godinet before Lauitiiti brought the Wildcats within four points with 15 minutes remaining.
But, try as they might, the Wildcats couldn’t find the score they deserved to bring the game level and Salford held on for victory.
Richard Agar handed debuts to half a dozen players as Jimmy Keinhorst lined up at centre, Anderson, Godinet, McShane and Daniel Smith all in the starting line-up whilst Matt Ryan started from the replacements bench.
After kick-off was delayed by ten minutes to allow those still waiting outside the stadium to get in, Salford came out firing and putting the Wildcats on the back foot for the opening ten minutes. Trinity seemed to have weathered the early storm but Sa’u didn’t give up on a grubber kick from Chase, patting the ball back into the field of play with Hock on hand to dot down.
Salford were dominant at this point but Trinity slowly wrestled back some parity and on occasion looked more than capable of causing the Devils problems, particularly down the right. Twice Fox looked destined to score, once tripping over an injured Rangi Chase as the half-back lay stranded on the floor.
Despite some signs of encouragement there were no points and the Devils aggressive pack soon had them attacking the Wildcats line, Hansen charging onto the ball from close range just short of the half hour mark.
Wakefield were feeling the effects of the fired up Devils, Keinhorst having his debut cut short early on by a hamstring early on and many players on their haunches throughout the half. The Devils got the third try on 32 minutes as Tim Smith got out the offload with Raleigh clutching at his ankles for Dixon to crash over.
It looked an uphill task in the second half but Trinity certainly weren’t giving up the ghost. Godinet flashed a pass into the path of the charging Ryan who hit the gap and went over for the score.
He was the creator for that one but his next score was all his own work, an excellent defensive read to pick off Howarth’s pass and sprint 40 metres under the posts.
Salford record crowd were in shock and their nervousness was transmitting to the players. The nerves grew as Trinity, led by the work of Andy Raleigh and spark of McShane grew in confidence. Lauitiiti had been denied around ten minutes earlier but he wasn’t to be denied a second time and Trinity were within four points.
With tired bodies all over the field, Wakefield pushed hard but ultimately couldn’t find the score that would have brought them level and Salford took the points.
Mullaney, Johnson, Walton, Sa’u, Meli, Chase, Smith, Lee, Tasi, Hansen, Hock, Puletua. Relacements: Griffin, Dixon, McPherson, Howarth.
Mathers, Fox, Collis, Keinhorst, Lyne, Sykes, Godinet, Anderson, McShane, Smith, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Replacements: Raleigh, Ryan, Tautai, Walshaw.