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Super League: Warrington Wolves race six tries past Wakefield Wildcats to close gap at top
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Warrington Wolves ran in six tries as they beat Wakefield Wildcats 26-14 to leapfrog Wigan Warriors and move within a point of Super League leaders Huddersfield Giants.
Joel Monaghan bagged a brace along with scores from Brett Hodgson, Mickey Higham, Chris Bridge and Stefan Ratchford as the Wolves moved above Wigan in the overall standings.
The Wildcats only trailed 14-8 at half-time but their fourth defeat in a row could signal the end of any play-off ambitions.
Warrington made a bright start with Joel Monaghan taking only nine minutes to bag his 25th try of the season after a pass from Bridge.
But Wakefield, who had lost their last seven matches against Warrington, drew level when Frankie Mariano did well to collect Tim Smith's high kick under pressure and touch down in the corner.
Tim Smith intercepted a Mickey Higham pass to put the Wildcats on the offensive in the build-up to Mariano's try.
Higham was at the heart of most of Warrington's attacks and the Wolves regained the lead midway through the first half when Hodgson linked up from full back to dummy his way over.
Wakefield were back on terms after 28 minutes when Tim Smith and Lee Smith combined for skipper Danny Kirmond to power through two tackles.
Warrington frustrated their fans with handling errors but were the benefactors of a deflection as Higham pounced to score under the posts, with Ratchford landing his first conversion at the third attempt to leave Wolves 14-8 ahead at half-time.
Taulima Tautai boosted Wakefield after his introduction from the bench with Simon Grix forced to make a try-saving tackle on Mariano.
Tautai then went close from Paul Aiton's kick but Warrington gave themselves breathing space with smart handling from Michael Monaghan, Ben Westwood and Bridge putting Joel Monaghan over for his second try to make it 18-8.
Brett Hodgson then put Westwood in the clear for Bridge to stroll over and, although the latter took over the goalkicking, he had no more success than Ratchford with the conversion.
A loose Trent Waterhouse pass was then intercepted by Kay who raced 70 metres for a try, with Lee Smith's conversion giving the Wildcats renewed hope.
But Chris Riley's touchdown after 66 minutes dashed any lingering hopes with the Wolves taking a 26-14 win.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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