Wakefield Trinity 18 Warrington Wolves 8: Late tries help Trinity down fancied Warrington
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The game was 19 minutes away from becoming Super League’s first tryless contest since 2007 - and only the second-ever - until Stefan Ratchford crossed for a converted touchdown which gave Warrington a two-point lead.
On a heavy pitch it seemed that might be enough to condemn Trinity to a second successive defeat, but Matty Ashurst did brilliantly to get the ball down to edge Wakefield ahead on 71 minutes and three later Tom Johnstone pounced on a poor pass from Jake Mamo to race in from half-way.
Delighted Trinity boss Chris Chester said: “I thought we were really good value.
“I thought we showed some real Wakefield grit, especially when we went behind 8-6.
“We found a way to win. There were some good individual performances and as a group it is probably one of the best wins I’ve been involved in.”
The visitors had gone ahead in the 38th minute when Max Jowitt booted a goal line drop out into touch on the full and Ratchford took the two.
That was the only scoring of the opening 40 minutes.
Wakefield did get across Warrington’s line once, when - after the hard-working Joe Westerman had gone close - Josh Wood darted through from acting-half, but the in-goal judge spotted a knock-on.
Bill Tupou also almost scored, but lost possession. At the other end England half-back Gareth Widdop - making his Super League debut - kept full-back Jowitt on his toes and forced a series of drop-outs, but the home defence held firm.
Tupou made a fine one-on-one tackle to keep Toby King out and Jay Pitts, who was outstanding in Wakefield’s pack, forced Daryl Clark into a fumble in good field position.
Ryan Hampshire’s place kicking was crucial for Trinity. He equalised with a penalty three minutes into the second period and booted them ahead six minutes later in similar style.
In between those, Josh Wood again went close, but was held up.
Widdop butchered a chance to put Warrington in front when he spilled Jake Mamo’s pass before a third Hampshire penalty made it 6-2.
Trinity lost possession from the restart, then conceded back-to-back penalties and the pressure told when Ben Currie sent Ratchford over, the full-back also converting.
Wakefield could have collapsed, but showed tremendous spirit to pull the game from the fire, Hampshire converting both their tries to maintain a 100 per cent record with the boot.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Tupou, Lyne, Arundel, Johnsstone, Miller, Hampshire, Kopczak, K Wood, Tanginoa, Pitts, Ashurst, Westerman. Subs J Wood, Tangata, Batchelor, Navarrete.
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford, Lineham, King, Mamo, Charnley, Austin, Widdop, Cooper, D Clark, Philbin, Currie, Murdoch-Masila, J Clark. Subs Akauola, Davis, Walker, Burrell.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths (Widnes).