10:43am Thursday 22nd March 2012
By Christopher Terris Taylor
BY their own admission, Wolves have not been hitting the heights that both the players and the fans have come to expect.
Sunday’s narrow win against Wakefield, a two-point haul somewhat snatched away from Wildcats’ hands, seemed to typify the little things that have not quite been right about the start of Wolves’ season.
Once again after the match Tony Smith spoke of the disappointment for his side’s lack of respect for possession, with Wolves turning the ball over too often for them to be comfortable in the first 40 minutes.
More worrying was the poor discipline that cost Wolves dearly in the first half, with two of Wakefield’s tries resulting directly from back-to-back penalties conceded late in tackle counts.
Needless to say, had Wolves been playing a team of Wigan’s calibre they would almost certainly not have ended the game as winners.
But it should be noted how well Wakefield played, with their enthusiasm and drive looking more than enough to earn them a hard-earned point at the very least.
Although Richard Agar’s side will feel aggrieved, the most important thing from Wolves’ point of view was their ability to rescue the result despite the below average performance.
It helps that Wolves had players like Ben Westwood on the field to help steer them in the right direction, with his workrate doing its bit to help get his side on the front foot in the second half.
Brad Dwyer also deserves a mention on his Super League debut, coming on in difficult circumstances to replace the struggling Michael Monaghan on his return from injury and coping well with the step up in levels.
Wolves are still to hit their straps but it is comforting that they are second in the table despite having plenty left in the tank for later in the season.
Wolves remain unbeaten at home in Super League since defeat to Salford on June 12, 2011.
Lee Briers’ fourth conversion, his 13th of the season, takes his club points tally to 2,501.
Ryan Atkins has now scored 7 tries in five games against his former club Wakefield. He and Chris Bridge are now one game away from making their 150th career Super League appearances.
Wolves only conceded 18 points in two games against Wakefield last season.
Brad Dwyer, aged 18, is the youngest to make his Wolves debut since Rhys Evans, aged 17, away to Harlequins on September 3, 2010.
Attendance of 10,686 was the first home ‘gate’ of the season below 11,000.
Round 7: March 18, 2012 Warrington Wolves...32 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats...30
Chris Riley; Joel Monaghan, Chris Bridge, Ryan Atkins, Rhys Williams; Lee Briers, Richie Myler; Adrian Morley, Michael Monaghan, Chris Hill, Trent Waterhouse, Ben Westwood, Simon Grix. Subs: Paul Wood, Mike Cooper, Matty Blythe, Brad Dwyer.
Richard Mathers; Peter Fox, Danny Kirmond, Vince Mellars, Ben Cockayne; Isaac John, Tim Smith; Andy Raleigh, Paul Aiton, Kyle Amor, Steve Southern, Ali Lauititi, Danny Washbrook. Subs: Kyle Wood, Paul Johnson, Oliver Wilkes, Lucas Walshaw.
Washbrook try, 5mins, John goal, 0-6; Atkins try, 13mins, Briers goal, 6-6; John try, 25mins, John goal, 6-12; Mathers try, 31mins, John goal, 6-18; Myler try, 33mins, Briers goal, 12-18; Wood sin bin and John penalty, 38mins, 12-20; Myler try, 42mins, 16-20; Lauitiiti try, 46mins, John goal, 16-26; Westwood try, 48mins, Briers goal, 22-26; Grix try, 61mins, Briers goal, 28-26; J Monaghan try, 67mins, 32-26; Mellars try, 75mins, 32-30
Wolves 11 Wakefield 11
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