Wigan 30 Wakefield Trinity 42: Tupou leads Trinity fightback

Wakefield's Bill Tupou.
Wakefield's Bill Tupou.
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Bill Tupou scored a quickfire hat-trick as Wakefield clawed back a 20-point deficit to claim a thrilling 42-30 victory over Betfred Super League champions Wigan.

The Warriors made a superb start with the impressive George Williams controlling proceedings early on and having a hand in all four of Wigan’s tries as they sailed into a 20-0 lead midway through the first period.

It looked like Wigan would remain in control until the break, but Wakefield had other ideas as they scored four tries of their own - three from Tupou - as they amazingly led 22-20 at half-time.

Wakefield never trailed from that point on, with second-half tries from Danny Kirmond, Anthony England and Jacob Miller seeing them claim their first win at Wigan in over eight years.

The Warriors handed a debut to James Worthington in the centres, the seventh Academy product to get his first start this season, and he needed just three minutes to put the home side ahead with a try from his first touch of the ball.

Williams put a neat kick over the top for Liam Marshall to chase, the bounce evaded him but 18-year-old Worthington was hand to collect and score in the corner.

Wigan were having plenty of joy on their left and they were over again moments later. Williams made a break and sent through Liam Farrell, who in turn passed back inside for Lewis Tierney to touch down under the posts.

Shellshocked Wakefield missed a chance to reduce the arrears when Kyle Wood dropped the ball just five metres from the line, and Wigan then increased their lead in the 15th minute.

Williams’ long ball was collected by Marshall and the youngster stepped back inside and beat three defenders before touching down. Williams missed his second of three conversion attempts but Wigan still led 14-0.

This game looked over four minutes later as Wigan crossed for their fourth try of the afternoon.

Williams was unplayable and his step and break allowed Thomas Leuluai to fall over the line and score, with England international Williams adding the extras to make it 20-0.

Wakefield may have been well behind on the scoreboard, but their intensity was still there as Craig Huby put in a huge, but legal, hit on Tierney that rocked the DW Stadium.

The full back got to his feel as if it was nothing but that incident lifted Trinity and it was not long until they posted their first points of the game.

The Warriors conceded a penalty and Wakefield took full advantage as Liam Finn and Scott Grix combined to send Tupou in at the corner.

The visitors were growing in confidence and despite losing Tinirau Arona to injury they managed to cross again with a carbon copy of their first as Tupou took Grix’s ball to score in the corner. Finn converted from the touchline this time and they were back in it at 20-10.

They managed to reduce the deficit to just six points as Mason Caton-Brown did well to ground the ball in the corner as Wigan’s defence looked all at sea.

Trinity were not finished there, though, and just 20 minutes after looking dead and buried they took the lead when Tupou brushed off some poor defending to race away for his hat-trick. Finn converted as Wakefield led 22-20 at the break.

Willie Isa almost scored a spectacular try to put Wigan back in front at the start of the second half, but he was unable to collect Williams’ kick.

Trinity made the Warriors pay for that as Sam Williams created some space before sending a reverse pass back inside for Kirmond to crash over. Finn’s conversion made it 28-20 and the champions looked a beaten side.

Finn pushed Wakefield’s lead out to 10 points with a penalty before the scrum-half made a break and offloaded for a rampaging England to crash over at the side of the posts.

The home side give themselves a glimmer of hope with 20 minutes remaining as Worthington collected Williams’ pass to go over for his second try, with Marshall’s conversion trimming Wakefield’s lead to 36-26.

However, Miller made sure Wakefield recorded their fifth successive victory in Super League as he scampered over from close range. Finn, who had to take the conversion twice after Wigan moved off the mark, converted at the second attempt.

Wigan grabbed a late consolation with Marshall taking his league tally to 15 but it was not enough to save the home side in a memorable encounter.

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