Wakefield Wildcats: Quick-fire treble just the tonic for winger

Chris Riley.
Chris Riley.
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ON-SONG winger Chris Riley passed on the praise for his 11-minute hat-trick in Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ 44-24 drubbing of Hull KR.

“They came bang, bang, bang,” Riley said of his second Wildcats treble, following one against his previous club Warrington Wolves last year.

“We had a roll on at the time and I had myself in a position where I could score the tries.

“It is nice to have a centre in Reece Lyne, who unselfishly passed me the ball when he could probably have gone himself and we played on the back of our pack going forward well.

“As a winger it is a dream to have a pack like that leading you forward and making sure you get the ball in the right areas.”

The victory two days ago backed up Wildcats’ round-one win at Castleford Tigers and means they go into the World Club Series break sitting in third spot on the early-season table.

But Riley insisted: “I wouldn’t say we were perfect (on Sunday).

“There were a lot of patches when we were off the mark a bit and we didn’t really put pressure on Hull KR.

“We let them off with a few penalties and silly errors in our own half and they began to get a bit of a roll on and put us under a bit of pressure, but as soon as we started applying pressure our forwards led us forward well and Tim (Smith) and Jacob (Miller) on the back of that were here, there and everywhere.

“We got a few tries in the end and overall we’re pleased.

“It was our second win of the season and it’s nice to get off to a good start.”

Wildcats already have a four-point advantage over some of their main rivals in what is effectively a 23-round season before Super League splits.

Before the campaign began they were widely tipped to be among the bottom four clubs who will go into a seven-game series against the Kingstone Press Championship’s leading quartet, with places in First Utility Super League 2016 at stake.

But Riley said internally the aim has always been to force their way into the top-eight, to have a shot at the Grand Final play-offs.

“It is a short season,” he said. “We had a fantastic finish last year, one that we were really proud of and we only just missed out on the play-offs.

“It’s important to get on a good run now and hopefully if we can finish the season off like we did last year and get on a little roll, who knows?

“We have scored a lot of points in our first two games and we did in pre-season as well.

“I think our attacking game’s there, we just need to keep improving our defence and not leaking as many tries.

“There were a few on Sunday where the bounce of the ball went their way – and a little barge over by Ryan Bailey. They are the sort of things you want to get out of your game, but the rub of the green certainly went our way a few times for some of our tries. If we can knuckle down and keep working hard I’m sure our attack will go all right.”