A SPIRITED performance wasn’t good enough for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, who suffered a ninth successive Super League defeat last night.
Wildcats battled hard and competed well for the first hour against a below-par Wigan side, before the visitors finally managed to pull clear, eventually scoring seven tries to four to win 40-22.
Three times Wakefield closed the gap after Wigan had opened a 12-point lead and the Warriors didn’t make the game safe until Lee Mossop scored their sixth try with 20 minutes left.
By that stage Wakefield were down to 14 available players, with ex-Leeds prop Ian Kirke having suffered a suspected broken thumb and Jordan Crowther (shoulder) and Danny Washbrook (ribs) also picking up knocks.
The hosts actually scored first, before Wigan had been in possession, Craig Hall backing up Matty Ryan’s break to cross for the opening try after just 40 seconds.
The full-back also converted, but Wigan were 18-6 ahead at the end of the first quarter. Dom Crosby crashed over from close-range and then Matty Smith – who finished with six conversions – ghosted through the first line of defence and stepped past Hall for a solo score.
Joe Burgess scorched over for Wigan’s third try, but Wildcats hit back when Tim Smith and namesake Daniel combined to carve out a try for Danny Kirmond, after an initial break by the fit-again Reece Lyne.
Smith and Wigan’s Sam Powell were yellow-carded following a skirmish on 34 minutes and Wigan scored moments later through winger Dom Manfredi.
But again Wakefield hit back as Pita Godinet – Wildcats’ best player on the night – nipped over from close range on the final play of the half, Hall adding his third conversion.
Burgess scored his second try three minutes after the break, but Wakefield got back into the game when a pass by ex-Wildcats forward Taulima Tautai was snapped up by Godinet and he put Chris Riley over.
There was no goal and Wigan were three scores clear when Mossop went over.
Burgess had a try disallowed for a knock-on before completing his hat-trick and the scoring on 64 minutes.
Meanwhile, Wakefield chairman Michael Carter, is increasingly frustrated after it emerged plans for the club’s proposed new ground had hit problems with its developers and may now not go ahead.
Coach James Webster said: “We improved. We did not get beaten on effort. At certain moments in the game we came up with the wrong choices and that hurt us.
“We made some strides and if we can improve like that every week we will start to get back in the frame.”
Webster confirmered that Jacob Miller is not injured and his omission last night was a “selection” decision.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Hall, Owen, Ryan, Lyne, Riley, Godinet, T Smith, Scruton , McShane, Kavanagh, Washbrook, Kirmond, Crowther. Subs: Lauitiiti, D Smith, Kirke, Simon.
Wigan Warriors: Hampshire, Manfredi, Gelling, Sarginson, Burgess, Williams, M Smith, Mossop, McIlorum, Crosby, J Tomkins, Farrell, Bateman. Subs: Powell, Tautai, Flower, Clubb.
Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).