Super League: Chris Riley's hat-trick helps Wakefield stun Warrington
Last Updated: 28/07/14 8:52am
Chris Riley returned to haunt parent club Warrington as his hat-trick of tries helped Wakefield to a surprise 40-26 triumph at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Winger Riley, who played for the Wolves in their opening game of 2014 before being allowed to leave on loan, crossed twice in the first half and added another after the break to help the Wildcats keep alive their playoff hopes.
Richie Mathers, another ex-Warrington player in the Wakefield ranks, scored the visitors' sixth try to seal a deserved win for Wakefield - their first against Tony Smith's side in 10 attempts.
The Wolves, whose nine-match winning sequence in Super League ended to Widnes the previous week, broke the deadlock after 30 seconds, Rhys Evans finishing off a flowing move.
However, a former Warrington duo combined to fire Wakefield ahead in the ninth minute, Mathers joining in the attacking line to put Riley over in the corner for a try that the recalled Jarrod Sammut successfully converted.
The hosts then failed to capitalise on Andy Raleigh's late tackle on Gareth O'Brien with Tim Smith intercepting a kick to relieve the danger.
Wakefield stunned Warrington after Smith's break with Danny Washbrook scattering defenders and almost demolishing the post before crashing over, Sammut's conversion making it 12-4.
Half-back Sammut's cheeky ball steal allowed Paul McShane to engineer a second score for Riley, but a Mathers blunder from an O'Brien kick gifted Joel Monaghan his 22nd Super League try of the season and with Chris Bridge converting, the score was 16-10 at the break.
Warrington would have been closer, possibly even in front, at the halfway stage had winger Gene Ormsby not failed on two occasions to reel in passes from Bridge.
Still, they made a superb start to the second half when Evans picked up his second try of the afternoon, though Bridge was off target with his attempt at the posts that would have levelled the scores.
Riley completed his treble following Jimmy Keinhorst's break, only for Stefan Ratchford to collect his own neat kick ahead to get a try he also converted, making it 22-20.
It was still anybody's game, but a storming burst by Raleigh allowed Keinhorst to touch down from Tim Smith's kick and give Wakefield a six-point lead on the hour.
Sammut made it a two-score gap by slotting over a penalty, his kick proving crucial considering Ryan Atkins was able to get on the end of Ratchford's kick to make it 28-26.
It was Wakefield, though, who crucially crossed next, Mathers taking Smith's pass to round Paul Wood. Nick Scruton crashed over to seal a superb victory four minutes from time for Wakefield, who now sit just two points back of eighth-placed Widnes in the standings.