Widnes 8-36 Wakefield: Bill Tupou inspires Wakefield to crucial win over Widnes
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 17/07/17 2:50pm
Wakefield centre Bill Tupou inspired his side to a crucial 36-8 victory over Widnes Vikings to maintain their push for a top-four finish in Super League.
The 27-year-old was in sparkling form for Trinity as he showed tremendous pace to score two tries and created two others for winger Mason Caton-Brown, and was a constant thorn in the Vikings defence.
As well as Tupou and Caton-Brown scores, Wakefield claimed other tries through Sam Williams and Tinirau Arona with Liam Finn landing six goals to secure a convincing win.
The defeat for Widnes means they will finish in the bottom two and will face four games away and three at home as they fight for their Super League lives in the Middle 8s.
Widnes' points came from a solitary try by Joe Mellor and two goals from Stefan Marsh which took him past the 250-point mark in his Super League career.
Widnes welcomed back scrum-half Rangi Chase after missing the last two games through suspension, while forwards Tom Olbison and Eamon O'Carroll returned on the bench after injury.
Wakefield kept with the same 17 that lost narrowly at home to leaders Castleford 25-24 eight days previous.
It was the home side who made the perfect start and were ahead after just six minutes when Mellor scored a fine solo try as he dummied his way through the Trinity defence from 20 metres out. Marsh converted but that was as good as it got for Denis Betts' side.
Wakefield thought they had made the perfect response but referee Chris Kendall ruled that Williams' pass to Matty Ashurst was forward and the second rower saw his try ruled out.
But the visitors did not have to wait long for their first points as, two minutes later from a scrum just inside their own half, Tupou made a superb break down the left and his pass allowed Caton-Brown to dive over in the corner despite the last-gasp tackle of Corey Thompson.
Finn missed the conversion but was on target with a penalty soon after to level matters at 6-6.
Widnes were then reduced to 12 men when another superb Tupou break caused havoc in the opposition defence and Vikings winger Ryan Ince was ruled to have tackled Caton-Brown before the Trinity winger received the ball and was given 10 minutes in the sin-bin.
Despite being down to 12 men, the Vikings edged in front with a Marsh penalty but it was the visitors who finished the half strongly to take a 10-point lead into half-time.
On 33 minutes, it was the excellent Tupou again who took Finn's pass to blast through the defence to score and three minutes later the visitors claimed another try straight from a scrum 20 metres out - this time Williams escaping the clutches of some poor Widnes defensive efforts to touch down.
Finn was on target with both conversion attempts to give Wakefield an 18-8 advantage at half-time.
A scrappy start to the second period was littered with mistakes but finally sparked into life just after the hour mark when Wakefield claimed the crucial first points of the half.
Williams saw his cross-field kick palmed back by Joe Arundal and Arona was on hand to take the ball and go over in the corner with Finn landing a fine touchline conversion to make it 24-8.
Tupou had the final say when he firstly created the second of the night for Caton-Brown 10 minutes from time and then, straight from the restart, he sprinted 50 metres for another spectacular try to seal a comfortable win.