Warrington 32-16 Wakefield

Warrington coasted to a 32-16 win over Wakefield thanks to a hat-trick of tries from winger Chris Riley.

The Wolves ran in six tries against John Kear’s subdued Wildcats, badly missing the creative spark of departed scrum half Danny Brough, who this week completed his move to Huddersfield.

The writing was on the wall for the visitors early on as Warrington pressed for an early score, which eventually came through Riley on the overlap down the left hand side.

Wakefield struggled to gain momentum with plenty of dropped ball in the opening quarter, and it was a mistake by full back Matt Blaymire that resulted in a second try for the Wolves. Michael Monaghan‘s chip over the line was allowed to bounce and Blaymire failed to deal with the loose ball and Chris Bridge punted the ball on before chasing it down to score by the side of the posts.

But the visitors battled on and earned back to back sets in the Warrington end, and they were rewarded for their short spell of pressure when Paul Cooke‘s cut out pass found winger Aaron Murphy in space, and he finished in the corner to reduce arrears to 10-4.

However, Warrington looked dangerous in possession and they regularly exploited the right hand side of the Wakefield defence, with Ryan Atkins and David Solomona both causing their former club some bother.

It was a rangy break from Atkins that created a second try for Riley in the left hand corner, despite the best efforts of opposite number Damien Blanch.

But for their dominance, Warrington couldn’t shrug Wakefield off, and they moved within one score with a fortunate try just five minutes from half time. Sam Obst‘s flat pass was intended for Michael Korkidas catch, but instead it ricocheted off the prop’s thigh and over the try line. However, the on-loan Huddersfield man was quickest to react and dropped on the ball for a try, to the disbelief of the home fans. Cooke converted for 16-10, but it was to no avail, as the gap was soon restored to 12 when Atkins went over for a four pointer, much to the annoyance of the healthy travelling support.

After the break, once Warrington had grabbed the crucial first score, there was no way back, Riley it was scoring his hat-trick try. They threatened to run riot when Atkins finished off a move started by a break from Myler down the right, and Atkins was denied a hat-trick try when he showed excellent pace to go 90 metres on an intercept, only to look back and find that referee Phil Bentham had awarded a scrum for a knock-on.

From the resulting scrum, Obst darted through a gap to briefly threaten an unlikely comeback, but Tony Smith’s side saw out the final twenty minutes with relative ease to keep up the pressure on Wigan at the top of the table.

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