A DISASTROUS defensive display cost Wakefield Trinity Wildcats their 100 per cent record this season and on Widnes’ Vikings’ artificial pitch.
Wildcats went into the game searching for a third straight Super League victory and having won on all three of their previous visits to the i-Pitch, but left not so much beaten as embarrassed.
Some of their travelling fans were heading for the exits as early as the 56th minute, when Widnes ran in their sixth try to make it 34-4.
They actually missed a couple of Wakefield tries, to Matt Ryan and Chris Riley, as well as four more for the hosts as they completed a 58-16 rout.
It was as every bit as bad as the scoreline suggests. Wildcats trailed early on to a soft try and that proved to be the story of the game. Tim Smith failed to deal with Lloyd White’s grubber kick and presented Joe Mellor with an easy touchdown.
On 18 minutes Kevin Brown barged over through some poor defence and four minutes after that White threw a dummy from acting-half and plunged over for another try which should have been prevented.
Things went from grim to grimmer on 26 when Brown went over for his second try, off Aaron Heremaia’s pass after Craig Hall had spilled a high kick into the rain.
Wakefield’s only first half score came soon afterwards, after Riley intercepted a pass near his own line.
Mellor halted him deep in Widnes territory, but Wakefield shifted the ball right and Richard Owen went over on the other flank.
Danny Tickle landed a penalty, his fourth goal of the half, just before the interval and things could have been even worse for Wakefield had Widnes taken two other golden opportunities.
Ryan’s tremendous tackle forced Tickle into a knock-on over the line in the early stages and right on half-time Mellor latched on to Brown’s kick, but couldn’t get the ball down.
There was no escape when Wakefield made an even poorer start to the second half than they had the first, sending the kick-off out on the full and turning the ball over to Widnes the first time they had it.
Patrick Ah Van punished that error by getting his head down and driving through some woeful goal line defence for the hosts’ fifth try, improved by Tickle, before White went over twice in four minutes to complete a fine hat-trick.
Wakefield showed a bit of spirit when Washbrook sent Ryan over and Riley crossed in the next set, Hall converting both, but Widnes ran in three tries in the last seven minutes, to Ah Van, Clarkson and White, who finished with four goals.
Widnes Vikings: Hanbury, Flynn, Dean, Phelps, Ah Van, Brown, Mellor, Dudson, White, O’Carroll, Clarkson, Tickle, Cahill. Subs (all used) Kavanagh, Manuokafoa, Heremaia, Galea.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Hall, Riley, Collis, Lyne, Owen, Miller, T Smith, Scruton, McShane, D Smith, Ryan, Kirmond, Washbrook. Subs Godinet, Anderson, Lauitiiti, Paea.
Referee: James Child.