EVEN as recently as a couple of weeks ago, this is a game The Wire would probably have lost.

However, emerging victorious in what was a thrilling contest gives the impression that Steve Price’s transitional side are just starting to turn a corner.

Make no mistake, a balance still needs to be found. While their attack was much more fluent and clinical than it has been, their defence was found wanting on several occasions.

Wakefield played their part, looked incredibly dangerous down the edges and broke the line with regularity.

That said, even though some of the tries Wolves conceded were incredibly soft, their scramble to get back and thwart Trinity when they broke through was impressive.

As mentioned earlier, though, Friday saw The Wire put on by far their most ruthless attacking display of 2018.

Having enjoyed their best game together the previous week in Catalans, the half-back partnership of Kevin Brown and Tyrone Roberts stepped up again.

The creative spine is getting more comfortable with each other and the ball is getting out to the edges more than it has been, allowing Tom Lineham to flourish.

If the arrival of Josh Charnley threw down the gauntlet, the former Hull man certainly picked it up with a superb display of try-scoring.

The pack were once again sublime in their efficiency, with Mike Cooper showing the kind of form that earned him rave reviews in the NRL and a spot in the England squad.

Even when Cooper and his fellow starters needed a breather, though, The Wire lost nothing when the interchanges entered the fray. If anything, they gained a little extra.

Sitaleki Akauola’s best game in primrose and blue was illuminated by a superb carry straight from the second-half kick off which eventually led to Bryson Goodwin’s try.

Ben Murdoch-Masila was equally menacing and, after he had produced a tackle on Wakefield’s Pauli Pauli that resembled more of a basketball slam dunk, the big Tongan showed pace and power to score an incredible long-range try.

With Charnley set to come into the fray over the Easter period as well as the returning Ryan Atkins, Ben Currie and Dom Crosby, Wire fans can understandably feel excited by what could potentially be coming their way.

A visit from neighbours Widnes and a trip to in-form Castleford is a hellishly tough Easter schedule, but if they can emerge unscathed, who knows what this side could achieve?


. The Wire’s fourth consecutive home victory over Wakefield.

. Wolves rack up their biggest points total under Steve Price.

. Ben Westwood makes his 400th Super League appearance.

. Tom Lineham marks his 150th career appearance with a hat-trick.


Super League, Round Seven.

Friday, March 23, 2018.

Warrington Wolves…34 Wakefield Trinity…24

Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Mitch Brown, Toby King, Bryson Goodwin, Tom Lineham; Kevin Brown, Tyrone Roberts; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Westwood, Jack Hughes, George King. Subs: Ben Murdoch-Masila, Sitaleki Akauola, Joe Philbin, Harvey Livett.

Trinity: Scott Grix; Ben Jones-Bishop, Reece Lyne, Bill Tupou, Tom Johnstone; Jacob Miller, Liam Finn; Keegan Hirst, Tyler Randell, Anthony England, Danny Kirmond, Matty Ashurst, Justin Horo. Subs: Ryan Hampshire, Pauli Pauli, Tinirau Arona, Craig Huby.

Scoring: Lineham try, 3mins, 4-0; Lyne try, 11mins, 4-4; Lineham try, 14mins, Goodwin goal, 10-4; Goodwin penalty, 23mins, 12-4; Tupou try, 25mins, 12-8; Finn try, 29mins, Finn goal, 12-14; Goodwin try, 41mins, Ratchford goal, 18-14; Cooper try, 57mins, Ratchford goal, 24-14; Murdoch-Masila try, 62mins, Ratchford goal, 30-14; Johnstone try, 64mins, Randell goal, 30-20; Lineham try, 76mins, 34-20; Jones-Bishop try, 80mins, 34-24.

Penalties: Wolves 6 Trinity 7.

Referee: James Child.

Attendance: 9, 154.

Top man (Guardian readers’ vote): Tom Lineham.

* Watch the match highlights: