ONCE Gareth Widdop had opened the scoring, a Warrington Wolves win always seemed likely.

Save for a 10-minute period prior to half time, this was a game The Wire were in full control of and it ended up showing on the scoreboard.

For many, the true response from their abject Challenge Cup semi-final loss will be shown in the bigger tests that now loom large on the horizon.

It needed to start here, though, and Steve Price’s men did what they needed to do.

> VIDEO: What pleased Warrington Wolves head coach Steve Price the most about the win over Wakefield?

Picture by Mike Boden

Picture by Mike Boden

Were they as fluent as supporters would have liked them to be? Probably not, but they still had more than enough for a Wakefield side who were game but ultimately outgunned.

They invested heavily into their starts to both halves, first of all to establish control and then reaffirm it when at 14-6 the next score was crucial.

A huge part of that was the platform laid by the middle unit, whether they started or came from the bench.

Chris Hill played once again like a man free from the pressure captaincy can bring and showed the footwork that set him apart when he first burst onto the scene was still there in setting up Widdop’s score.

Sitaleki Akauola provided the impactful carries we know he is capable of while Robbie Mulhern produced another solid outing.

Off the back of that, Widdop continued to thrive.

As it has done for much of the campaign, almost everything went through the Wire number seven as he showed exactly why Shaun Wane has brought him back into the international fold.

It had been easy to forget what an impressive goalkicker he is too but having been handed the tee, some difficult conversions proved no problem.

Picture by Mike Boden

Picture by Mike Boden

Jake Mamo once again continued to catapult himself onto the ball with enthusiasm while for the first time in what seems like an eternity, we got to see what Josh Charnley can do when given some clean ball.

The winger freely admits he has not been himself this year and his place in the team has been questioned, especially after another difficult afternoon against Castleford’s Jordan Turner in the semi-final.

However, a first hat-trick for more than two years will hopefully fill him with confidence.

He and his teammates will need it given what is to come as trips to St Helens and Wigan lie in wait.

Only then will we see what this Wire side is truly made of.


. Wire’s eighth consecutive home win over Wakefield

. Stefan Ratchford makes his 300th career appearance

. Josh Charnley’s hat-trick was his first since the 63-12 win at Hull FC in March 2019

. Charnley moves into outright fifth place in all-time Super League try-scoring list

Picture by Mike Boden

Picture by Mike Boden


Super League, Round Nine

Friday, June 11, 2021

Warrington Wolves...38 Wakefield Trinity...18

Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Josh Charnley, Jake Mamo, Toby King, Tom Lineham; Blake Austin, Gareth Widdop; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Jack Hughes, Ben Currie, Joe Philbin. Subs: Robbie Mulhern, Matt Davis, Sitaleki Akauola, Danny Walker

Trinity: Max Jowitt; Lee Kershaw, Reece Lyne, Bill Tupou, Liam Kay; Jacob Miller, Mason Lino; Eddie Battye, Brad Walker, Tinirau Arona, Joe Arundel, Jay Pitts, Joe Westerman. Subs: Kyle Wood, James Batchelor, Yusuf Aydin, David Fifita

Scoring: Widdop try, 8mins, Widdop goal, 6-0; Currie try, 15mins, Widdop goal, 12-0; Widdop penalty, 20mins, 14-0; Fifita try, 26mins, Lino goal, 14-6; Mamo try, 44mins, Widdop goal, 20-6; Charnley try, 48mins, Widdop goal, 26-6; Arundel try, 54mins, Lino goal, 26-12; Charnley try, 71mins, Widdop goal, 32-12; Charnley try, 73mins, Widdop goal, 38-12; Kershaw try, 80mins, Lino goal, 38-18

Penalties: Wolves 5 Trinity 6

Referee: Marcus Griffiths

Attendance: 4,000