CHRIS Riley returned to haunt his parent club in the first half at The Halliwell Jones Stadium as Wolves enter the break six points behind visitors Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Riley scored twice against his parent club after Rhys Evans’ early try, with Danny Washbrook and Joel Monaghan also going over in the first half.
It took Wolves less than 30 seconds to opening the scoring after receiving the ball from kick-off.
Stefan Ratchford took the catch and the ball was worked left to Ben Currie, whose opened his legs to round the Wakefield defence.
The 20-year-old drew the tackle from former Wolves man Richie Mathers and offloaded to Evans for the winger to scoot into the corner from just inside the visitors’ half. Chris Bridge clipped the post from the conversion.
With six minutes played Joel Monaghan managed to keep hold of a difficult Ratchford pass and shrugged off a tackle before sending a looping ball inside to Gareth O’Brien.
The half back was looking for support and almost found it in Micky Higham, but his attempted pass was knocked down by a Wildcats hand.
Wolves had made the decision to allow loanee Riley to play against his parent club and eight minutes in the inevitable happened.
A Wakefield break put Reece Lyne through and he fed the winger at speed to go in at the corner. The try was met with chants of ‘there’s only one Chris Riley’ from both sets of fans.
Jarrod Sammut added the extras from wide out.
A late tackle on O’Brien 10 metres from Wakefield’s line allowed Wolves the chance to keep the pressure on.
But after Wildcats’ defence had kept Wolves at arm’s length, an attempted grubber from O’Brien was caught on the full by Tim Smith and the visitors could break.
The Yorkshire outfit gained good ground with each tackle until the in-form Smith gave a reverse pass to Washbrook and he crashed off into the post-guard and over to increase their lead on 18 minutes. Sammut converted.
Less than two minutes later and the visitors, and on-loan Wolves man Riley, were in again.
Andy Raleigh stole possession from Ratchford after he picked up at dummy half when Matty Russell was grounded.
Raleigh jinked forward and once he was held up Paul McShane took over and span wide left to Lyne, who spotted Riley on the overlap at close range. Sammut pulled the kick wide.
Wolves’ chances to reduce the deficit were appearing few and far between, and their attempts at a fluent attacking game were not helped by dropped balls and the visitors slowing the game at the play-the-ball.
But with eight minutes of the half remaining it was a Wakefield mistake that allowed the hosts to reply.
O’Brien lofted a high kick towards the visitors’ line, which was not taken in the air by Mathers and Monaghan pounced. Bridge converted.
The hosts looked to have gained momentum after the score and nearly closed the gap further on 37 minutes, but Bridge’s miss-pass for Gene Ormsby was too high for the winger to hold when five metres out.
Moments later and Ormsby was unable to hold another, this time unopposed after the returning James Laithwaite passed wide having broken the line in a swift Wolves break.