Wakefield leave it late to stun Warrington


Wakefield scored two tries in the last 10 minutes to get off the mark in Betfred Super League with an 18-8 win over Warrington in the mud at Belle Vue.

The game appeared destined to be try-less for an hour after both sides struggled to overcome the difficult conditions but it sprang into life in the final quarter.

Trinity were leading 6-2 when acting captain Stefan Ratchford looked to have won it for the Wolves when he finished off a move initiated by England international Gareth Widdop on his Super League debut.

Ratchford added his second goal to nudge his side into an 8-6 lead but battling Wakefield found their second wind just in time and late tries from Matty Ashurst and Tom Johnstone helped them to their first win of the season.

Warrington coach Steve Price dropped promising full-back Matty Ashton to accommodate Widdop, who missed the first three rounds after picking up an ankle injury in pre-season training, and he showed some useful touches to a significantly changed line-up.

The visitors were still without suspended captain Chris Hill and Price brought versatile outside back Jake Mamo in at centre for Anthony Gelling, who was suspending after being arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent.

Wakefield, without chief playmaker Danny Brough, had the early encouragement of a 40-20 kick from Ryan Hampshire, who switched from full-back into the halves in his absence, but both teams found it tough going on the heavy surface.

Widdop forced a couple of goal-line drop-outs and both teams turned down chances to kick for goal after being awarded penalties in front of the posts.

Trinity went nearest to scoring a try when substitute hooker Josh Wood dived over from dummy half on 28 minutes but he lost control of the ball.

The only points of the first half arrived two minutes before the break when Wakefield full-back Max Jowitt put a drop-out straight into touch and Ratchford kicked the easy penalty to make it 2-0.

The home side dominated the third quarter as they started to handle the conditions and forced the Wolves into further errors.

Hampshire kicked two penalties in five minutes to nudge his side in front and Wood was again thwarted in a dummy-half dash to the line as he was held up.

Warrington created their first clear-cut try-scoring opportunity on 51 minutes when Mamo broke through the first line of defence but Widdop could not take the pass – a miss which went on to prove costly.

Five minutes later Hampshire kicked a third penalty goal after captain Jacob Miller was tackled off the ball to stretch his side’s lead to 6-2.

The pivotal moment appeared to come on the hour when Widdop got second rower Ben Currie charging onto a short pass and he offloaded to Ratchford for the first try of the game.

Ratchford added the conversion to make it 8-6 but Wakefield finished the stronger side.

Ashurst took Kyle Wood’s short pass close the line and had the strength to put the ball down despite the tackle of Mamo and Blake Austin.

Warrington were then pushing for the winning try but when Mamo failed to find his winger and Tom Johnstone picked up the loose ball to sprint 50 metres for the clinching try.

Hampshire made it five out of five with the boot to put the seal on a splendid victory.

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