RESURGENT WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats produced one of their best Super League performances to crush Wigan Warriors 62-0 in front of a disbelieving crowd at Belle Vue yesterday.
It was Wildcats’ fourth successive win, all since Chris Chester took over as boss and came a day short of a year after they were humiliated 80-0 at Warrington Wolves. Injury-ravaged Wigan, missing 10 front-line players and including two debutants, offered very little, but Wildcats were outstanding both on attack and in defence
They scored four tries in a magnificent opening 40 and were 22-0 ahead at the break. To their huge credit, they maintained a similar pace in the second half, adding seven more touchdowns and rarely looking like conceding.
Playing with huge confidence, Wildcats could have been even further in front at the interval, having got over the Wigan line four times without reward. Mikey Sio was denied by a Danny Kirmond knock-on and then a Scott Moore push, Lewis Tierney’s superb tackle forced Max Jowitt into a knock-on over the line and Jacob Miller’s round-his-back pass to Arundel was forward.
Wigan attacked in the opening moments thanks to a couple of Wakefield knock-ons and a penalty, but after that they struggled to get out of their own half. After nine minutes Liam Finn and Sio both went close for Wakefield before the ball was turned over a few metres from Wigan’s line.
Wakefield rocked Wigan with their defence in the next set, keeping them inside their own 40 and preventing a kick.
Back in possession, Wakefield surged forward again and Nick Scruton rolled over for the opening try, from a pass by Moore who has made a big difference following his return from long-term injury.
On 24 minutes Miller, who had an outstanding game, crossed after off-loads by Anthony Tuopu, another hugely impressive Wakefield man, and Joe Arundel.
Four minutes later Tom Johnstone made a brilliant take from Miller’s angled kick and Finn’s third conversion of the half opened an 18-0 gap.
The best was yet to come as five minutes before the interview Moore kicked for Johnstone, he fed Arundel and the centre’s pass sent Miller over.
Wakefield added two more tries in the first 12 minutes of the second half, Finn stepping over following a 40-20 by Miller, who completed his hat-trick after Matty Smith knocked-on and Arundel picked up to race clear. On 59 minutes Kirmond celebrated a big effort by crossing off a pass from Finn, whose sixth goal made it 40-0 and then the dam really burst.
Kirmond added a second moments later, Reece Lyne put Ben Jones-Bishop over and then his break set up a deserved try for Jowitt before Scruton completed his brace and Finn rounded off the scoring with his ninth conversion.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Jowitt, Johnstone, Arundel, Lyne, Jones-Bishop, Miller, Finn, Scruton, Moore, England, A Tupou, Kirmond, Sio. Subs Molloy, Simon, Ashurst, Arona.
Wigan Warriors: Sarginson, Charnley, Higginson, Gildart, Tierney, Gregson, Smith, Clubb, Powell, Mossop, J Tomkins, Isa, Sutton. Subs Tautai, Burke, Bretherton, Wells.
Referee: Gareth Hewer (Whitehaven).