At the end of the first quarter at HJ Stadium, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats trailed Warrington Wolves only 6-0 and it was a contest.
By half-time Warrington had moved 30-0 ahead and at full-time the scoreboard read 80-0. Warrington scored 74 points in 59 minutes and 50 in the final 31. Wildcats’ eighth straight defeat was an embarrassing rout, marked a new low in a season which is going downhill at an alarming rate and left them three points adrift at the bottom of First Utility Super League.
Wildcats’ defeat equalled the biggest margin in the competition’s history, still have a lengthy casualty list and it was their third tough game in 10 days around Easter, but there could be no excuse for an inept performance, particularly after the break.
Strangely, Wakefield had their moments in the early stages. Danny Kirmond and Jarrod Sammut held Declan Patton up over the line early on and Ben Westwood also got over the whitewash, but was prevented from getting the ball down. Richard Owen produced a superb offload to Sammut to prevent a drop out when he looked certain to be trapped in-goal and Sammut made a stunning try-saving tackle on Westwood.
But that good work was wasted by poor handling, some awful one-on-one defence and a series of schoolboy errors. For example, Sammut twice sent re-starts out on the full; once in each half, which was an achievement in itself in very blustery conditions. Wakefield’s defence allowed Warrington’s second half kick-off to bounce into touch and two of the home team’s tries after the break – from an intercept and an error – came after Wakefield had been in possession in their own territory.
Only once in the 80 minutes, when Matt Ryan spilled the ball over the line, did Wakefield threaten to score a try.
Wolves, who went into the game on a four-game losing run, started shakily, but debutant stand-off Patton and young centre Toby King both impressed and Ben Currie also had a big game.
Once they realised they had nothing to beat, Warrington grew in confidence and played some good rugby.
After Gene Ormsby’s early opener, they scored tries on 21 (King), 28 (Daryl Clark), 34 (Richie Myler) and 38 (Ashton Sims) minutes to make the result safe. After the break they added nine more, on 47 (Ormsby), 49 (Stefan Ratchford), 56 (Westwood), 57 (Joel Monaghan), 60 (King), 66 (Myler), 68 (Currie), 75 (Myler) and 78 (Currie).
Ratchford kicked 11 conversions and missed a penalty after the first half hooter.
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford, Monaghan, Bridge, King, Ormsby, Patton, Myler, Hill, Higham, Asotasi, Currie, Westwood, Harrison. Subs: Clark, Sims, England, Laithwaite.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Sammut, Riley, Hall, Arundel, Owen, Miller, T Smith, Simon, McShane, Griffin, Kirmond, Washbrook, D Smith. Subs: Trout, Ryan, Godinet, Lauitiiti.
Referee: Robert Hicks.