By Rachel Arnett
Attendance: 10, 158
Warrington Wolves hosted Wakefield Trinity in the penultimate game of the regular season.
The Wire were looking to keep the pressure on for that second spot, while Wakefield needed a win to reduce the nerves of possible relegation.
The home side welcomed back a number of players who missed out last week including co-captain Chris Hill and Blake Austin back from injury.
The Trinity line-up also saw a few changes with the likes of Arundel, Gwaze, King and Crowther in place of Tupou, England, Batchelor and Annakin.
The Wire took control of the scoreboard in the first half with three unanswered tries, keeping the ball alive and throwing everything at Wakefield. Daryl Clark, Currie and Charnley the scorers.
Wakefield mounted a fightback in the second half, pulling pack two tries in the opening 10 minutes. But despite all that Trinity threw at them the Wire managed to keep the edge and the two points.
Stefan Ratchford, Tom Lineham, Bryson Goodwin, Toby King, Josh Charnley, Blake Austin, Declan Patton, Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Jason Clark
Subs: Joe Philbin, Sitaleki Akauola, Matty Smith, Jake Mamo
Tries: D Clark, Currie, Charnley, Goodwin
Goals: Ratchford (3)
Drop Goal: Patton
Morgan Escare, Ben Jones-Bishop, Reece Lyne, Joe Arundel, Ryan Hampshire, Jacob Miller, Danny Brough, Craig Kopczak, Tyler Randell, Adam Tangata, Danny Kirmond, Kelepi Tanginoa, Jordan Crowther
Subs: Chris Green, Titus Gwaze, George King, Kyle Wood
Tries: Escare, Jones-Bishop, Hampshire
Goals: Brough (2)
It was the Wire with the first look at the line when on four minutes they were 30 metres out on the back of a penalty. Arundel wrapped the ball up though, with a successful intercept a few plays in.
The tables then turned and with repeat drop-outs it was Wakefield creating the pressure for the Wire to defend 10 minutes in.
On 15 minutes a grubber kick down the right edge by King was chased well but Escare reached it first to prevent a score. A Wakefield error then followed in the next set presenting the home side with another chance from close range; their kick having gone out on the full under pressure. The Wire used it to their full advantage Daryl Clark finding the gap to go over for the try. Ratchford missed the conversion. 4-0
Just as the second quarter got underway the Wire were over for their second, this time Currie squeezing over in the corner, after taking a long, looping pass from Daryl Clark. Ratchford is on target with the boot. 10-0
The Wire were certainly looking to keep the ball alive, throwing everything into the last plays.
With eight minutes to the break Charnley brushes off the would-be tacklers to run in down the right edge to score the Wire’s third. The touchline conversion was added by Ratchford. 16-0
Tanginoa looked to have sent Hampshire away down the edge but the referee pulled him back for a forward pass with three left on the clock.
It was Wakefield who started the stronger in the second half, Escare finding the space to go over for the try on 43 minutes. Brough’s goal kick too the score to 16-6.
On 47 minutes the visitors crossed again, Jones-Bishop with the weaving run to reach over the line to score. Brough was on target with the kick. 16-12
But the Wire hit back minutes later when Goodwin ran over in the corner, after great hands from Currie in the build-up. The kick was wide. 20-12
Into the final quarter and Wakefield scored in the corner, Hampshire winning the race to put the ball down, controversially awarded. The touchline kick was missed. 20-16
The Wire are awarded a penalty as the final 10 minutes approach and opt to go for goal, slowing things down a bit. Ratchford adds the two from in front. 22-16
Patton slotted over a drop goal to nudge a bit further ahead on 73 minutes to secure the win.