Wakefield coach Chris Chester hailed the character of his team after they rallied for a dramatic 34-24 win over second-placed Salford at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Former Salford winger Mason Caton-Brown scored a hat-trick as Wakefield moved into the top four of Super League.
But they did it the hard way, blowing a 16-0 first-half lead before pulling back from 24-22 down in the closing stages.
“There is plenty of character in this side and I thought it was a really good team performance in tough circumstances,” Chester said. “We played for the full 80 minutes – even with five minutes to go we still had that belief that we could get over the top of them.
“On the whole we probably edged it. We completed really high in the first half and then gave them a bit of a leg-up at the end of the first half which gave them a big lift going in at half-time. There was some great character shown and some good individual performances.
“Our squad is being tested but the guys who came in gave us some freshness and that helped us in the last 10 minutes. I thought they were two really good sides competing for places in the top four. It’s nice to be in the top four again – it’s a good position to be in.”
Caton-Brown’s third try three minutes from the end proved decisive in a frenetic finish.
“Caton-Brown has got pace to burn and he’s had to wait for his opportunity,” Chester added. “He is an outstanding young British talent and I’m pleased that he’s playing some good footy. I don’t know the ins and outs of why he left Salford but I’m glad he’s playing for Wakefield Trinity and not Salford.”
Wakefield’s seventh straight win brought to an end a similar run for Salford, much to the disappointment of coach Ian Watson. He said: “In the first half we dominated field position which seems a strange thing to say when you go in 16-6 down. We didn’t give Wakefield a sniff of our goal line apart from our errors and invited them to score.
“Little bits of our attack were probably off in certain areas – whether that’s a build up of fatigue I don’t know. Wakefield took their opportunities and we didn’t. We haven’t defended as we should have. It’s up to us now to recover.”