posted on 27 July 2014

A Chris Riley hat-trick took the Wildcats to a first win in ten attempts over Warrington Wolves.

Chris Riley scored a hat-trick for the Wildcats.

The on-loan winger crossed twice in the first half and his brace combined with a Danny Washbrook score gave the Wildcats a 16-10 lead at the interval.  It was a lead they never surrendered despite Warrington’s dominance in both possession and field position, with Riley completing his treble in the second half and Jimmy Keinhorst, Richard Mathers and Nick Scruton all getting over the whitewash on a memorable afternoon.

Rhys Evans had opened the scoring after just 30 seconds for the hosts who also saw Joel Monaghan cross in the first half.  Evans went over again at the start of the second half with Ryan Atkins and Stefan Ratchford both scoring to keep the Wolves well in the hunt throughout the second half.

But with Tim Smith as the architecht and the Wildcats defence at its committed best, Trinity were good value for their win.

James Webster recalled Jarrod Sammut to partner Tim Smith in the halves whilst Nick Scruton returned to the starting line-up, replacing Richard Moore who was joined on the replacements bench by Matty Wildie.

As starts go, the Wildcats couldn’t have wished for any worse.  Ben Currie made a break on the second play of the game and he set Evans away down the left touchline to open the scoring after just 30 seconds.

Wakefield survived another scare before hitting back on 8 minutes.  Tim Smith found an inside ball to Richard Mathers who put Riley flying in at the corner.  Sammut added the touchline conversion to give the visitors the lead.

Warrington were still enjoying more of the territory but a combination of some good defence and poor execution kept the Wildcats in the lead.  It was an advantage they extended on 18 minutes when Smith got on the back of a quick play the ball by Scruton to again find the inside ball to Washbrook 10 metres out who saw off a couple of attempted tackles and the impact of hitting the post pads to get the ball down.

The travelling supporters were jumping for joy again just minutes later when Riley added his second.  Sammut stole the ball one-on-one ten metres from the Warrington line and once Gilmour got away an offload on the next play, McShane pirouetted his way into some space before passing to Lyne, the centre giving his winger a simple finish.

Wakefield’s defence was good, Kirmond doing his level best to slow the ruck down on a number of occasions and it was only an error that provided Warrington with a second score.  Mathers looked to slap a high kick dead under pressure and when he didn’t make a proper connection the ball sat invitingly over the try line for Monaghan to score.

With ten minutes remaining until half-time the Wildcats had plenty to do to retain their lead and retain it they did, in no small part to the Wolves bombing at least two good opportunities.

A frantic start to the second half saw Taulima Tautai go inches close before Warrington again exposed an overlap on the left from within their own half and again it was Evans the benefactor.

But if the Wolves fans though that was going to be the start of an onslaught they were mistaken and Trinity struck back.  England made the error in a heavy tackle from Tautai and Keinhorst raced 50 metres to put the Wildcats on the front foot.  Wakefield maintained their composure and put the ball through the hands on the left hand side to give Riley a hat-trick.

Tony Smith threw Richie Myler into the creative mix for his side and the Wolves stepped up a gear.  Ratchford also returned from the bench and he chipped a short kick over the top for himself and was rewarded with a favourable bounce to get over.

Warrington upped the ante further but it was Smith again at the heart of a response.  He set Raleigh racing clear on halfway and then grubbered on the last to perfection for Keinhorst to touch down.

Sammut added a 15 metre penalty to extend the lead to eight points but an entertaining game took yet another twist when Ratchford kicked to the corner and when Keinhorst saw the ball knocked from his grasp, Atkins was over.

With just two points between the two sides and ten minutes left on the clock, step forward Smith. Another well executed inside ball had Mathers over and when Sammut converted, the lead was back to eight points.

With four minutes remaining, Riley made a tackle on Monaghan to force the ball loose and Sammut swooped to race 80 metres.  The Wildcats kept their composure and McShane fired a pass to Scruton who strolled over the line to win the game.


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