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Super League: Wakefield Wildcats continue good form with win over Widnes Vikings
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In-form Wakefield Wildcats have the play-offs in their sight once more after brushing aside Widnes Vikings 24-14 to register a fourth successive win.
The Wildcats, who produced a club Super League record seven-match winning run to reach the play-offs last season, overcame the loss of Paul Sykes and Dean Collis before half-time to maintain their momentum.
Widnes had their moments in the first half but they finished a well-beaten team and there was the sad sight towards the end of their fans becoming involved in a brawl with home supporters.
It took Wakefield just three minutes to open the scoring as centre Collis timed his run to perfection to touch down Richard Mathers' grubber kick to register his 12th try of the season.
Lee Smith added the goal to make it 6-0 but the Vikings hit back on eight minutes when left winger Patrick Ah Van took stand-off Kevin Brown's cut-out pass to cross unopposed at the corner and he would have had a second try had he been able to take Rhys Hanbury's pass.
Widnes were on top at that stage but Wakefield captain Danny Kirmond, playing with painkillers to defy a finger injury, kept his side in front with two more examples of his inspirational bravery.
He came up with an ankle tap to halt the dangerous Hanbury in full flow and then chased back to bring down Hep Cahill after the Widnes forward had gone 50 metres on a run from deep inside his own half.
Collis went off with a leg injury shortly after scoring his try and Wakefield also lost stand-off Paul Sykes, with both men spotted on crutches during the interval.
But Wakefield turned adversity to their advantage as the early introduction of Ali Lauitiiti from the bench, allied to the switch of Frankie Mariano from the pack, added a cutting edge to their left-sided attack.
The veteran New Zealander dummied his way over for his side's second try on 29 minutes and almost put through Ben Cockayne just before half-time with some more slick ball play.
Trailing 12-4 at the break, Widnes thought they were back in it when Hanbury touched down a Brown high kick but video referee Steve Ganson disallowed the try for obstruction by Ah Van and that signalled the end of the game as a contest.
Within 10 minutes, Wakefield had scored two more converted tries, largely through the efforts of England squad man Cockayne. The former Hull KR favourite, who was the subject of a bid from his old club last week, made the most of a free play after Macgraff Leuluai had knocked on, sprinting into space and finding Mariano on his inside.
Mariano then turned trymaker, producing a delightful offload to release Cockayne and replacement hooker Mattie Wildie was in support to score his first Super League try of the season. Lee Smith kicked his fourth goal from as many attempts but Widnes at least finished with a flurry.
Brown put his brother-in-law Gareth Hock through a hole in the Wildcats defence on the hour and he finished off at the corner while Hanbury deservedly got a try four minutes from the end, with Jack Owens kicking his only goal from three attempts.Super League. Click here to bet.
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|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|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|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R|
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