Wigan suffered their third loss on the bounce against a very impressive Wakefield side.
Chris Chester made two changes to his Wakefield Trinity team that beat Widnes Vikings last time out. Matty Ashurst and Danny Kirmond replaced James Batchelor and Chris Annakin.
Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane made five changes to his side that were knocked out of the Challenge Cup by Warrington Wolves last week. Craig Mullen made his debut, while Dan Sarginson, Romain Navarette, Callum Field and Gabe Hamlin came in for Liam Marshall, Ben Flower, Ryan Sutton, Joel Tomkins and Taulima Tautai.
Wakefield opened the scoring as they shipped the ball wide to Ben Jones-Bishop who did well to stay in the field of play and touch down in the corner. Ryan Hampshire failed to convert, but Wakefield were 4-0 up after seven minutes.
Hampshire extended Trinity’s lead in the 16thminute. Wigan front-rower Navarette was penalised for a high tackle on Jacob Miller and Hampshire slotted the penalty goal, Wakefield 6-0 Wigan.
Warriors hooker Tommy Leuluai was sin-binned for the second week in a row for tackling Justin Horo off the ball.
Wakefield scored in the set after Leuluai’s yellow card. Bill Tupou scooted from close range and barged over the line. Hampshire’s boot took the score to 12-0.
Wakefield were in complete control in the first half. Wigan gave away another penalty after Liam Farrell committed a high tackle on Miller. Hampshire added his second penalty goal to edge Wakefield into a 14-0 advantage.
Wigan pulled a try back late on in the first half. Hamlin scored his first competitive try for the Warriors as he stormed onto a short pass from Sean O’Loughlin to score. Sam Tomkins converted, but the Warriors trailed 14-6 at the break.
Jones-Bishop got his 12thtry of the campaign shortly after the restart as he intercepted an O’Loughlin pass to go under the posts. Hampshire added the conversion to put his side 20-6 in front.
Trinity stretched their lead on the hour mark. Wigan failed to deal with a kick from Miller and Tom Johnstone picked up the loose ball and finished acrobatically in the corner.
Hampshire added another penalty goal against his former club after Wigan were caught offside. Wakefield were 26-6 to the good after 62 minutes.
Wigan winger Tom Davies thought he had scored for Wigan in the 67thminute. He was denied by the video referee though due to his hand being in touch.
Davies did score a couple of minutes later. He made a brilliant break down the right wing and cut through the Wakefield defence to touch down. Tomkins converted.
The Warriors scored again in quick succession as Morgan Escaré sold Wakefield a dummy to score. Tomkins added the conversion, but Wigan were still 26-16 behind.
Trinity had the last say on the game though. Pauli Pauli was rewarded for a big performance with a try at the death. Hampshire converted to secure a fine 32-16 victory for Wakefield.
Wakefield: Jowitt; Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone; Miller, Hampshire; Fifita, Randell, England, Ashurst, Kirmond, Horo. Subs: Wood, Hirst, Pauli, Arona.
Wigan: S Tomkins; Davies, Sarginson, Gildart, Mullen; Williams, Powell; Clubb, Leuluai, Navarette, Bateman, Farrell, O’Loughlin. Subs: Isa, Escaré, Field, Hamlin.
Starman: Wakefield’s forwards were outstanding. David Fifita was the pick of the bunch and took a lot of juice out of Wigan with his powerful carries.