Wakefield 26-6 Widnes: Trinity see off 12-man Vikings to reach Coral Challenge Cup last eight
Last Updated: 13/05/19 7:24pm
Wakefield were made to work by 12-man Widnes but a strong finish secured their place in the quarter-finals of the Coral Challenge Cup in a 26-6 victory at Belle Vue.
The Championship club led 6-0 after half an hour and were trailing by just six points when full-back Jack Owens was sent off 17 minutes from the end for using foul and abusive language to a touch judge.
Trinity, who are third in Super League, made sure of victory with three tries in the last seven minutes from wingers Ben Jones-Bishop, Lee Kershaw and second rower Justin Horo but it was a forgettable performance from Chris Chester's side.
The sixth-round tie was a repeat of the Wembley final from 40 years ago, which Widnes won 12-3, and, for an hour at least, Kieron Purtill's men appeared to be drawing on the spirit of 1979.
Their aggressive defence and compact kicking game kept Wakefield pinned inside their own half for much of the first half and they took full advantage of their hosts' handling errors.
A Wakefield knock-on on their own 20-metre line gifted Widnes the perfect attacking position and they made the most of it as centre Lloyd Roby won the race to Danny Craven's grubber kick on the last tackle to open the scoring.
Owens added the conversion to give the Championship side a 6-0 lead and they stayed in front until eight minutes before the break, when Trinity finally managed to breach their defence.
Prop Craig Kopczak made a big impact following his introduction halfway through the first half and it was from his offload that full-back Max Jowitt scored Wakefield's first try, with Ryan Hampshire adding the goal to level the scores.
The first-half plaudits went exclusively to Widnes. The Super League team, captained by centre Reece Lyne on his 150th appearance, needed a couple of slices of luck to go in front.
First Vikings substitute Macgraff Leuluai dropped the ball bringing it out of his own 20-metre area and, after Jowitt had been held up over the line, David Fifita successfully chased his own speculative kick, pouncing for a try after Owens failed to clear the danger.
Referee Gareth Hewer brushed aside protests from the Widnes defenders to award Fifita his seventh try of the season and his second in successive games.
Hampshire's second goal made it 12-6 and Wakefield missed a chance to extend their advantage when Horo stretched out for the line only to lose control of the ball.
However, any hope of an upset effectively disappeared after 63 minutes, when Owens was shown a red card as Wakefield ran through the gaps to run away with the game with those three late tries.