Wakefield fightback in vain as Warrington snatch narrow win
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 17/06/18 5:59pm
Warrington held off a spirited second-half fightback by Wakefield to claim a 32-30 victory that consolidated their top-four place in the Betfred Super League.
Hull's defeat at home to Wigan gave the Wolves the chance to move four points clear of their fifth-placed rivals and they took it despite scoring only four tries to Trinity's five.
Stefan Ratchford crossed twice in the opening 10 minutes and Tom Lineham helped himself to a try as Warrington established a commanding early lead.
Harvey Livett added his fifth goal after Tinirau Arona had got Wakefield on the board to put the Wolves 22-6 up at half-time and Bryson Goodwin added another penalty after the restart to stretch Warrington's advantage.
Back-to-back tries from Kyle Wood reduced the deficit to six points but Brown went over to secure a hard-earned win for the Wolves and ensure late efforts from Tom Johnstone and Pauli Pauli were mere consolation for Wakefield.
Warrington arrived at Belle Vue smarting from a home defeat by a patched-up Castleford side and they began the game in determined mood.
The Wolves opened the scoring after only four minutes and in some style, Goodwin collecting Brown's high kick before giving Daryl Clark the opportunity to dab through for Lineham who put Ratchford over.
After struggling to contain the Tigers last week, Warrington laid down an early marker in defence by driving Wakefield's Ryan Hampshire back 20 metres.
Steve Price's team underlined their early dominance when Ratchford sent Josh Charnley clear down the right wing with a cut-out pass and backed up to cross for his second try.
Trinity briefly threatened when Johnstone almost claimed Jacob Miller's kick to score but they were on the back foot again as Ben Westwood broke through.
Young full-back Max Jowitt stopped the veteran forward in his tracks but then conceded a penalty which was knocked over by Livett.
It got worse for Wakefield when Goodwin escaped the clutches of Ben Jones-Bishop before sprinting down the wing and kicking back inside for Lineham to finish.
Arona powered his way over from close range after 28 minutes to give Trinity hope but Livett slotted over a 35-metre penalty to leave the hosts with a mountain to climb in the second half.
It appeared as if Warrington would run away with it after Goodwin - with Livett off the field - knocked over a penalty from out wide following a mistake by Johnstone from the kick-off.
But Wakefield were right back in it after two tries in a matter of minutes from Wood.
First the replacement hooker bravely caught Hampshire's hanging kick to touch down next to the posts and then took advantage of a mistake by Charnley from Miller's cross-field kick.
Hampshire's third successful conversion made it 24-18 but Warrington pulled two scores clear again when Goodwin added an easy penalty after Danny Kirmond was penalised for interference.
Warrington secured the win in a two-minute spell which saw Johnstone drop the ball with the tryline begging and Brown take Lineham's pass to score after Ben Murdoch-Masila had put the winger in space.
Wakefield had a man advantage in the closing minutes following Sitaleki Akauola's yellow card but they ran out of time after tries from Johnstone and Pauli.