WARRINGTON Wolves’ winning sequence against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats continues but the performance of Tony Smith’s side did not reach the heights of recent successes against St Helens and Catalan Dragons.
Long periods of dull, scrappy play on a heavy pitch in front of only 3,698 supporters made for a dour occasion on the whole, but Wolves will be pleased to maintain winning momentum heading into Friday’s clash with table-toppers Leeds Rhinos.
Wolves will anxiously wait for the outcome of any disciplinary concerns over a Ben Westwood challenge early in the game at Wakefield though.
He was perhaps lucky to be still on the field after a dangerous throw that resulted in Wakefield prop Scott Andersoon leaving the field dazed after four minutes.
It was a purple spell in the seven minutes leading up to half time that ensured Wolves would return home with the two points and a ninth successive win against Wakefield.
Three tries finally sparked the game into life after successive penalties conceded by Wakefield paved the way for two tries from impressive centre Ben Currie and one from his wing partner Gene Ormsby.
Wolves had weathered an early storm of defending their line for four successive sets but Tony Smith’s men responded clinically.
Ex-Wolves full back Richie Mathers lost his footing on the wing as Ryan Atkins got clear and Stefan Ratchford would not be stopped from 40 metres out. Chris Bridge converted for 6-0 after 11 minutes.
A 28-minute wait was needed for the next score, Bridge supplying Currie on the angle after Wakefield had conceded successive penalties.
Ratchford then cut open Wakefield’s heart and rebuffed a challenge to feed Matty Russell in support. The full back found space on the right and combined with Westwood to send Currie flying over for his second score in the second minute of added time.
Wolves were not finished though, capitalising on Paul Sykes kicking the re-start out on the full.
Again they went to Currie’s right flank, where this time Ratchford and Bridge did the work for Gene Ormsby to somehow squeeze over in the tightest of environments by the corner post in the sixth minute of added time.
It was the last act of the half.
Wolves put the game to bed six minutes into the second half.
The ball was swept wide to Currie who beat Lucas Walshaw for footwork and sold a fabulous inside dummy to Ormsby that allowed clear field to open up for him.
As Jarrod Sammut came across, Currie’s precise inside pass found Bridge to scamper home unopposed and he added his second conversion of the day to put his side 24-0 ahead.
Richie Myer was introduced into the halves at this stage, with Ratchford switiching to centre and Currie replacing the hard-working Ben Harrison at loose forward.
Penalties for high tackles by Ratchford and Roy Asotasi then cost Wolves their clean sheet, Walshaw capitalising with a strong run that got him underneath Ratchford and Bridge to ground the ball over the line in the 54th minute.
Tries from Atkins off Myler in the 74th minute and one from the replacement scrum half on his return from shoulder trouble as he followed up a Currie kick were both converted by Bridge to wrap up the scoring.
Wolves: Matty Russell; Gene Ormsby, Ben Currie, Ryan Atkins, Rhys Evans; Stefan Ratchford, Chris Bridge; Chris Hill, Micky Higham, Anthony England, Ben Westwood, James Laithwaite, Ben Harrison. Subs: Richie Myler, Roy Asotasi, Brad Dwyer, Ben Evans.
Wildcats: Jarrod Sammut; Richie Mathers, Matt Ryan, Lucas Walshaw, Richard Owen; Paul Sykes, Harry Siejka; Scott Anderson, Matty Wildie, Nick Scruton, Danny Washbrook, Danny Kirmond, Jacob Fairbank. Subs: Pita Godinet, Richard Moore, Chris Annakin, Jon Molloy.
Referee: George Stokes