Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are guaranteed at least a place in the Super 8s Million Pound Game after tonight’s 30-12 home win over Halifax.
The win at Belle Vue secures a top-five finish in the Super 8s Qualifiers for Wildcats, who ended Halifax’s hopes of promotion to Super League with a solid display against gallant visitors.
Halifax showed plenty of promise and had good spells of possession but lacked a cutting edge against their Super League rivals.
The hosts broke the deadlock with seven minutes played when pressure on the Halifax line ended with Michael Sio burrowing over from close range. Joe Arundel converted from in front of the posts.
The lead was short-lived however as Halifax capitalised on Wildcats’ lost possession in midfield and a passing move along the line allowed Jake Eccleston to cross in the right corner.
Steve Tyrer added the conversion from the touchline to level matters.
In an end-to-end period of play midway through the first half, Dane Manning almost got away when he charged down Pita Godinet’s kick but he knocked-on 40 metres out with the Wakefield try line unguarded. Tom Johnstone’s superb break from deep in his own half put the hosts in good field position, only for a knock-on to rob them of a good opportunity.
Wakefield regained their lead with 10 minutes of the first half remaining, Pita Godinet’s kick-through bouncing off the post into the hands of a grateful Sio, who touched-down another Arundel-improved try.
And the hosts turned the screw four minutes before the break, when Mickael Simon powered through to score. Arundel’s third goal gave Trinity an 18-6 lead at the break.
Halifax started the second half brightly and Steve Tyrer crossed the home whitewash only for Jordan Tansey and Bill Tupou to hold him up and force the ball dead.
It was Wakefield who made an impression on the scoreboard however, Arundel kicking a penalty, and while Halifax responded with several raids high up the pitch, they were met with solid defence from the hosts.
And Wakefield effectively killed off the game with 13 minutes remaining, Anthony Mullally charging over from five metres out. Arundel again on target with the goal to put the hosts 26-6 up and in control.
A late try from Scott Murrell, goaled by Tyrer, gave the travelling fans something to cheer but Trinity responded with the clincher, Max Jowitt crossing in the final action of the game.
Wakefield Wildcats: Max Jowitt, Tom Johnstone, Bill Tupou, Joe Arundel, Jordan Tansey, Jacob Miller, Pita Godinet, Nick Scruton, Michael Sio, Anthony Walker, Danny Washbrook, Mickael Simon, Chris Annakin. Interchange: Andy Yates, Jordan Crowther, Matty Ashurst, Anthony Mullally.
Halifax: Ben Johnston, Jake Eccleston, Ben Heaton, Steve Tyrer, James Saltonstall, Connor Robinson, Scott Murrell, Mitch Cahalane, Ryan Maneely, Luke Ambler, Adam Tangata, Dane Manning, Jacob Fairbank. Interchange: Ben Kaye, Andy Bracek, Richard Moore, Ross Divorty.
Referee: Phil Bentham