THE COMPETITION’S slogan may be ‘every minute matters’, but with still six games to go in the Super-8s Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ season is already petering out.
With their place in Super League 2017 already secure, Wakefield have a huge injury list and nothing tangible to play for.
Both factors were evident last night as Wigan Warriors cruised to a 60-12 victory in the battle of last weekend’s beaten Cup semi-finalists.
Missing captain Danny Kirmond and winger Ben Jones-Bishop, Wakefield’s line-up was even more threadbare than the one beaten 56-12 by Warrington in the Challenge Cup six days earlier and the game was just as one-sided.
There were a couple of positives from Trinity’s point of view. Wigan didn’t quite match the 62 points Wakefield put on them at Belle Vue earlier in the season and coach Chris Chester took the opportunity to blood two 18-year-olds from the club’s academy.
Judah Mazive made his debut on the right-wing and Frazer Morris did likewise among the substitutes, coming on for the final 11 minutes.
Mazive was part of the England academy squad which is currently in Australia, but had to fly home early following the death of his father.
Lack of size may be an issue for him at the top level, but he has plenty of heart. He didn’t get a clear running chance, but carried the ball strongly, made a several good tackles and was brave in diving at Josh Charnley’s feet to get on the end of a kick by George Williams.
Wakefield’s first try came on 31 minutes, making it 20-6, Joe Arundel cutting through from a pass by Jacob Miller.
They were 54-6 down with 12 minutes left when Craig Hall intercepted Sam Tomkins’ pass and Liam Finn kicked his second conversion.
Wigan were in cruise control for most of the game and the result was not in doubt once they had taken a 10-0 lead in as many minutes.
George Williams and Sam Powell scored back to back tries before Charnley, returning from a two game ban, scored a fortuitous touchdown off Williams’ kick on 14 minutes.
Wakefield – missing 10 senior players – held out until Sam Tomkins danced over 13 minutes later, but – after Arundel’s try – the defence collapsed as John Bateman bulldozed his way through and then Oliver Gildart touched down at the corner.
Three Matty Smith conversions made it 30-6 at the break. It stayed that way until the 53rd minute, but then Wigan scored 18 points in the next six.
Dom Manfredi went the length of the field after intercepting Miller’s pass, dazzling footwork from Williams carried him over and then Dan Sarginson backed up Bateman’s break.
Bateman created a second try for Tomkins on 65 minutes, but the full-back was taken off moments later after handing Hall a simple touchdown.
Smith completed a clean-sweep by becoming the seventh Wigan back to cross the whitewash. Jake Shorrocks converted all five of Wigan’s second half tries.
Wigan Warriors: S Tomkins, Charnley, Sarginson, Gildart, Manfredi, Williams, Smith, Crosby, Powell, Flower, Isa, Bateman, O’Loughloin. Siubs Mossop, Tautai, Nuuausala, Shorrocks.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Jowitt, Hall, Lyne, Arundel, Mazive, Miller, Finn, Scruton, Moore, Fifita, Walton, A Tupou, Crowther. Subs Yates, Arona, Morris, Sio.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas (RFL).