Salford 38 Wakefield 8: Ill-discipline proves costly as Trinity suffer on road

Small comfort: Ben Jones-Bishop scored a try for Wakefield but it was far from enough as they slipped to a heavy defeat at Salford.
Small comfort: Ben Jones-Bishop scored a try for Wakefield but it was far from enough as they slipped to a heavy defeat at Salford.
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Salford Red Devils ran in three tries in a mesmerising five-minute spell early in the second half to sweep to an impressive triumph over in-form Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

The Red Devils led only 10-4 at half-time before Mark Flanagan, Ryan Lannon – with his second touchdown – and Rob Lui went over in quick succession to send the Wildcats crashing to only their second Super League defeat in nine matches.

Salford ran in a total of seven tries with others coming from Niall Evalds, George Griffin and Junior Sa’u as they took another step towards clawing back the six points deducted for breaching the salary cap.

Wakefield had skipper Danny Kirmond and Ben Jones-Bishop sin-binned in the first half, with Jacob Miller placed on report in the second half for a tackle on Gareth O’Brien, who was forced off for treatment.

The Wildcats could only reply with tries from Anthony Tupou and ex-Salford winger Jones-Bishop.

Salford, who lost 32-18 at Wakefield last month, were missing banned winger Justin Carney, with Evalds returning after serving a one-match suspension for the Magic Weekend win over Widnes Vikings.

Wakefield, who beat Catalans in Newcastle thanks to a late Miller drop goal, welcomed back Anthony England from suspension but Reece Lyne was still absent through injury.

The Wildcats were bidding for their first win in four visits to Salford but an early handling error by England put his side under pressure and Evalds went over from a delicate grubber kick by Michael Dobson after just three minutes.

A sweeping move from inside their own half almost brought another Salford try with Daniel Vidot and Evalds racing clear.

Salford were proving dangerous on the counter-attack and when Miller fumbled a pass, Lui accelerated 50 metres to launch another offensive.

Wakefield’s defence was impressive, with Vidot pushed into touch after another Red Devils raid.

And they were rewarded for their perseverance with Anthony Tupou going over after 27 minutes to level the scores, with Liam Finn off target with the conversion attempt.

The Wildcats were down to 12 men five minutes before the break when skipper Kirmond was sin-binned for a blatant trip and it proved costly with Lannon scorching over for a try, converted by O’Brien to make it 10-4.

Then Jones-Bishop was yellow-carded for hauling back Evalds chasing a kick but O’Brien missed the long-range penalty attempt just before the interval.

Wakefield started the second half with 11 players but were helped by an early handling mistake by Griffin.

Kirmond returned but just in time for Flanagan to score after a return pass from O’Brien, who added the conversion for 16-4.

Then Lannon notched his second try from a tap back from a kick to stretch the lead to 22-4.

Salford made it three tries in five minutes with Lui racing onto a pass from Adam Walne to leave the Cats with a mountain to climb.

A Griffin try was cancelled out by Jones-Bishop to leave Wakefield trailing 34-8 before Sa’u crossed in the last minute.

Salford Red Devils: O’Brien, Evalds, Jones, Sa’u, Vidot, Lui, Dobson, Kopczak, Tomkins, G. Griffin, Murdoch-Masila, Hauraki, Flanagan. Substitutes: Lannon, A. Walne, Bibby, Joseph.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Jowitt, Hall, B. Tupou, Arundel, Jones-Bishop, Miller, Finn, Scruton, Sio, England, Kirmond, A. Tupou, Arona. Substitutes: Simon, Ashurst, Annakin, Anderson.

Referee: Joe Cobb (RFL)