HOME TEAM Wakefield Trinity Wildcats faded after a positive start en-route to a 36-4 defeat by improving Warrington Wolves yesterday.
The big talking point of a routine Warrington win came after just four minutes, when Wakefield’s Aussie prop Scott Anderson was the victim of a dangerous throw by Ben Westwood in front of the visitors’ post.
Referee George Stokes was well positioned, but took the option of placing the incident on report.
Few would have argued if a red card had been shown and it will be a surprise if Westwood doesn’t get called up before the disciplinary when the match review panel looks at the incident today, but that won’t do Wakefield any good.
Anderson was substituted for a spell, though he did return to the action later in the half, but Wakefield were left to wonder what would have happened had Warrington been a man down for almost the whole game.
Actually, Warrington would probably still have won. The home team scrambled well in defence at times and were strong in the middle of the field, but they were exposed out wide and offered very little with ball in hand.
Tellingly, Wolves scored five of their seven late in each half, when Wildcats ran out of gas. Wildcats were in the contest for the first half an hour, but three tries in six minutes after that put the game beyond them.
The turning point was an obstruction penalty against Wakefield’s Paul Sykes, after he appeared to have broken free in midfield.
Wildcats immediately conceded another penalty – with Chris Annakin being placed on report – and in the resulting set Ben Currie went over at the corner from Chris Bridge’s pass.
Three minutes later Currie scored again from Westwood’s pass and a minute before the interval Gene Ormsby touched down from another Bridge pass.
Earlier Warrington had gone ahead on nine minutes when Stefan Ratchford finished following Ryan Atkins’ break after some sustained Wakefield pressure, Bridge landing his only conversion of the half. Currie set up a try for Bridge soon after the interval, but Wakefield managed to avoid a whitewash on 54 minutes when Lucas Walshaw forced his way over, too far out for Jarrod Sammut to add the extras.
Warrington, who did not risk the influential Monaghan brothers Joel and Michael ahead of Friday’s visit of Leeds Rhinos, seemed to lose a bit of interest after that and the game got very scrappy.
The visitors, though, upped the pace to finish with a flourish, adding two more tries in the final seven minutes.
Atkins crossed against his former club off a pass by Richie Myler and then the No 7 turned try scorer, thanks to some brilliance by Currie, who shimmied clear and then kicked in-field. Bridge completed the scoring with his third conversion of the half.
Wildcats – already with several key players on the casualty list – lost on-loan forward Jacob Fairbank to an ankle injury in the first half.
Wakefield Wildcats: Sammut, Mathers, Ryan, Walshaw, Owen, Sykes, Siejka, Anderson, Wildie, Scruton, Washbrook, Kirmond, Fairbank. Subs (all used): Godinet, Moore, Annakin, Molloy.
Warrington Wolves: Russell, Ormsby, Currie, Atkins, R Evans, Ratchford, Bridge, Hill, Higham, England, Laithwaite, Westwood, Harrison. Subs (all used): Myler, Asotasi, Dwyer, B Evans.
Referee: George Stokes (Wigan).
THERE WERE no complaints from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats coach Richard Agar after Warrington Wolves forward Ben Westwood avoided a red card in yesterday’s clash.
Westwood was placed on report by referee George Stokes for a dangerous throw on Scott Anderson just four minutes into the game, which Warrington won 36-4.
Agar said: “He has gone over the horizontal and tipped him. I don’t think it was nasty-malicious, but I think it’s the easiest foul play rule in the game to see, if anybody’s tipped over the horizontal.
“It’s a tackle we are wanting out of the game, whether it is intentional or not. We got a free interchange from it and Scott was all right to return, which all in all you would say was a reasonable outcome.”
Agar was encouraged by some aspects of Wakefield’s play but not by others.
He said: “I thought our middle, our forwards, worked extremely hard all day.
“But when you look at how we let the tries in, some of the misses and some of the decisions that came from our outside-backs simply weren’t good enough.
“We lacked some direction and I thought we kicked the ball woefully. In greasy conditions against a team who can attack anywhere, where you turn the ball over is vital.”