Warrington 26 Wakefield Wildcats 40: Hat-trick hero Riley makes the Wolves pay

Chris Riley of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats scores against Warrington.
Chris Riley of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats scores against Warrington.
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Wakefield kept their play-off hopes alive with a shock 40-26 win at Warrington with Chris Riley bagging a hat-trick of tries against his parent club.

Riley, who has been on loan at Wakefield since the start of the season, crossed twice in the first half and completed his treble after the break.

Richie Mathers also crossed over for one of the Wildcats’ seven tries against his former club, who have now lost back-to-back matches after the derby defeat at Widnes, while Jarrod Sammut booted six goals on his return and forged a top partnership with Tim Smith.

Wakefield boss James Webster said: “Chris thought he may not be able to play and did not train much during the week and what a coach Tony is that he didn’t stop him playing.

“Chris is still a Warrington player but if he wants to come and they allow it I’d take him permanently.

“It was a great win especially after last week. It’s always tough at Warrington especially with all the ball they had.

“I’m extremely pleased because scoring points has been a bit of a problem.

“At times we were getting pulled apart but we held out well.”

Warrington refused to allow Riley to play in the first clash between the clubs at Belle Vue in May which the Wolves won 
36-4, but Wolves boss Tony Smith said: “Chris has been on loan at Wakefield all year and it would have been silly and unfair for him not to play.

“He’s not scored that many for a long time but took his chances and was in a rich vein of form. He can have his spoils today.

“It would have been unfair if we had pinched it.”

Smith, who will be without Matty Russell at Catalan on Friday after the Scot suffered concussion, added: “They were more enthusiastic than us and executed their game plan better.

“We made an incredible start (Rhys Evans scoring after 30 seconds) but sometimes that can put you under the wrong sort of mindset and we got caught up in that.

“We looked lazy in some areas and off the pace. There is a bit of work today with our defence.”

The Wolves scored arguably the quickest try of the season with Rhys Evans finishing off a full length of the field move after only 30 seconds.

Gareth O’Brien sent Ben Currie away after the first drive and Evans was too quick for the Wakefield defence. But Riley got the first of his three tries when Mathers put him over in the corner with Sammut booting the first of his six goals.

Trinity went on to lead 16-10 at the break, with Riley scoring again and Danny Washbrook going over, while Rhys Evans and Joel Monaghan replied. Evans went in again before Riley scored his third after the break.

Jimmy Keinhorst, Mathers and Nick Scruton ensured victory in a tense finish after Stefan Ratchford and former Wildcat Ryan Atkins went over for the home side.

The win moves Wakefield up to 10th in the table and to within two points of Super League’s top eight with just five games left to play.

Warrington: Russell, Ormsby, J. Monaghan, Atkins, R. Evans, C. Bridge, O’Brien, Hill, Higham, Harrison, Westwood, Currie, Ratchford. Subs: Myler, Wood, England, Laithwaite.

Wakefield: Mathers, Owen, Lyne, Keinhorst, Riley, Sammut, T. Smith, Raleigh, McShane, Scruton, Gilmour, Kirmond, Washbrook. Subs: Lauitiiti, Moore, Tautai, Wildie.

Referee: Tim Roby (RFL).

attendance: 9,252.

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