Wakefield Trinity 20 Salford Red Devils 28 - match report and video

A STIRRING fightback fell just short as weary Wakefield Trinity’s season ended with a 28-20 loss to Salford Red Devils at Emerald Headingley last night.

By Peter Smith
Sunday, 8th November 2020, 12:05 pm

Wakefield have played more league fixtures - 19 - than anyone else this year, this was their fifth game in 16 days and the punishing schedule took its toll in the first half, but they had a real dig after the break.

Trinity conceded inside 90 seconds, were 10-0 behind after as many minutes and trailed 22-4 at half-time.

At that stage the most likely outcome was a big Salford win, but Trinity showed impressive spirit to cut the gap to just two points with 14 minutes left, before a late try secured the spoils for Salford. The win moved them above Trinity, who finish 10th in the Betfred Super League table.

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Ryan Hampshire scores the first of his two tries in Trinity's loss to Salford. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

The Red Devils were totally dominant in the first 40, from the moment they forced a drop out from their kick-off and in the resulting set Krisnan Inu went over at the corner; then Niall Evalds crossed from Inu’s pass.

Evalds was not on the teamsheet, but replaced Dan Sarginson just before kick-off for his final game in Salford colours ahead of his move to Castleford Tigers.

Trinity thought they had scored from their first chance, on 19 minutes, when Ryan Hampshire’s kick took a wicked bounce away from Salford’s left-side defence and was picked up by Ben Jones-Bishop who scampered over.

Referee Liam Moore handed the decision on and his video assistant Robert Hicks awarded Salford a penalty for offside.

Kelepi Tanginoa proves too strong for the Salford defence. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Wakefield were hit on the break 15 minutes before the interval when the ball went to ground and Salford winger Ed Chamberlain kicked ahead before picking up to score. Inu’s second conversion made it 16-0, but Trinity responded with a classy try.

In his 200th career appearance, centre Reece Lyne had a point to prove after being dropped from England coach Shaun Wane’s latest performance squad.

He showed what he is capable of when he stepped into a gap near Trinity’s line, accelerated away and provided the pass for Hampshire to cross, though the conversion was missed.

That gave Wakefield hope, against the run of play, but their defence was exposed on the stroke of half-time when Andy Ackers burst through the middle and Tui Lolohea backed him up to cross for Salford’s fourth try.

Inu added the extras and Salford could have put the game to bed in the opening stages of the second half, but Trinity’s defence prevented Jack Ormondroyd getting the ball down over the line and then Kallum Watkins’ pass which sent Inu in was ruled forward.

Twelve minutes in, Brad Walker slid a low kick over the Red Devils’ line and the ever-reliable Kelepi Tanginoa reacted quickly to ground the ball for a try which Hampshire improved.

With 19 minutes left, having sent Innes Senior racing away, Hampshire was on hand to take the return pass for his second try and though he could not convert, the gap was down to eight.

Salford were reduced to 12 men soon afterwards when Lee Mossop was sin-binned for a trip and in the next set Tanginoa stormed from Walker’s pass and the goal, by Hampshire, made it a two-point ball game.

Senior has shown up well during his spell on loan from Huddersfield Giants, but his error - when he fumbled Lolohea’s kick behind Trinity’s line - handed a soft try to Tyrone McCarthy with seven minutes left and Inu completed the scoring with his fourth goal.

Wakefield Trinity: Hampshire, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Senior, K Wood, Bailey, Tanginoa, Bowes, Kopczak, Batchelor, Pitts, Arona. Subs B Walker, Fifita, Green, Battye.

Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Kear, Watkins, Chamberlain, Inu, Lolohea, Atkin, Mossop, Jones, Yates, Ormondroyd, Pauli, Flanagan, . Subs Ackers, Burke, McCarthy, Ikahihifo.

Referee: Liam Moore (Wigan).