WILDCATS HOLD OFF LATE WIRE COME BACK TO TOPPLE LEAGUE LEADERS

posted on 15 May 2016

Wakefield moved into the Super League top six for the first time this season with an outstanding 36-28 win over Warrington Wolves at Belle Vue.

The Wildcats dominated the first half and found themselves 30-6 up just after the interval, thanks to two tries a piece from Craig Hall and Matty Ashurst and one for in-form Tom Johnstone.

The Wolves hit back with four second half tries of their own, and despite having three men sent to the sin bin, Chris Chester’s side held on and wrapped up the two points when Ben Jones-Bishop touched down in the corner late on.

It took the Wildcats only two minutes to open the scoring, as Hall went over for his third try in as many matches. Max Jowitt got an arm free in the tackle and offloaded to Hall on halfway, and the centre held off Matty Russell’s tackle to finish well in the corner.

Liam Finn added the extras, and Trinity found themselves 12-0 up just five minutes later as Jacob Miller fed Ashurst who went in under the posts, giving Finn a simple conversion.

Warrington hit back on the quarter of an hour mark though, as Wakefield were made to pay for conceding back to back penalties when Joe Westerman powered over from close range. Stand-off Kurt Gidley added the simple conversion to bring the league leaders back to within six points.

The visitors continued to press for a second try, but having scored from an interception last weekend against Toulouse, Hall repeated the trick once more, this time catching Ben Westwood’s pass to run in his second try of the afternoon in the left hand corner.

Finn added an excellent touchline conversion to make it 18-6, and Hall’s reading of the game came to the fore once more as he intercepted yet another pass on the half-way line. Unable to get away from the recovering Warrington defence himself, the centre offloaded to Ashurst who found Johnstone outside him, and the 20-year-old sprinted in under the posts for his 15th try of the season.

Finn maintained his 100% record from the tee to extend his side’s lead out to 24-6 at the break.

Wakefield began the second half in a similar vain to the first, and Miller and Ashurst combined once again before the latter shrugged off a couple of tackles to get his second try of the afternoon. Finn once again converted to make it 30-6.

The Wolves hit back with two tries in five minutes though, as Daryl Clark broke through the Wildcats’ defence from dummy-half to score from distance, before Gidley snuck over from close range.

Gidley converted both tries to bring Warrington back to within 12 points, and things went from bad to worse for Trinity when Ben Jones-Bishop was sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul, despite making a try saving tackle on Jordan Cox.

Warrington did not have to wait long for their next score though, as Russell made the most of the man advantage to score in the left hand corner. Gidley was off target with the touchline conversion to leave the score at 30-22.

Having found themselves on the back foot for a ten minute spell, the Wildcats got some much needed possession and extended their lead back out to ten points when Liam Finn added a penalty from the Warrington 20 metre line.

With Jones-Bishop having returned to the field, Warrington thought they’d pulled another try back at the other end as Kevin Penny went over in the corner, only for referee Chris Campbell, making his Super League debut, to rule out the try for a forward pass.

As the game entered the final stages tensions mounted on the field, and Anthony England and Kurt Gidley were both sent to the sin bin for their part in a fight near half-way.

Warrington were awarded the resultant penalty, and cut the deficit to just four points as Morgan Smith converted Westerman’s try close to the right hand touchline just moments later.

And the visitors should have levelled the scores within the next minute, as Westerman once again broke the Wildcats’ defensive line, only for Clark to spill the back rower’s pass with a clear run to the line ahead of him.

With Danny Kirmond having become the third Wakefield player to be shown a yellow card, Warrington heaped pressure on the Trinity line in search of a match-winning score.

But the defence remained resolute, and Wakefield had the final say when Jones-Bishop dropped on Max Jowitt’s grubber to score in the corner, sealing an exceptional 36-28 win and sending the Belle Vue crowd into rapture.

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