Wakefield Trinity 28 Warrington Wolves 22: Mason Lino helps Wakefield end losing run

IT WAS never going to be simple was it?

Wakefield Trinity winger Tom Johnstone races in for their opener (TONY JOHNSON)
Wakefield Trinity winger Tom Johnstone races in for their opener (TONY JOHNSON)

Just days after being placed in caretaker charge following Chris Chester’s sacking, Wakefield Trinity assistant Willie Poching oversaw a thrilling win against third-placed Warrington Wolves which ended the club’s five-match losing run.

However, having led 26-6, he must have been fearing the worst when their opponents finally rallied with three quickfire back-to-back tries in just five minutes near the death.

Chester’s five-year reign came to a close after his side squandered an 18-0 lead at Huddersfield Giants a week earlier and losing this one would have been unbearable to take.

Fortunately, though, Trinity held on, courtesy of a crucial Yusuf Aydin tackle on Stefan Ratchford - just as Wolves looked certain to score a fourth try on the trot - before Mason Lino finally eased nerves with a last-minute penalty.

They led 20-0 after 50 minutes and had utterly outplayed Warrington in all facets of the game.

They ran harder, offered more threats and controlled the ball far better than their star-studded opponents who had the luxury of Australian stand-off Blake Austin operating as a loose forward off the bench.

On the rare occasions the visitors did test them defensively - essentially a five minute spell just before the break when Tom Johnstone spilled Gareth Widdop’s kick - Trinity were more than up to the task.

Wakefield Trinity's Innes Senior takes on Warrington. (TONY JOHNSON)

Innes Senior, who fared well as the injured Reece Lyne’s replacement at centre, produced a wonderful try-saving tackle on Jake Mamo and when Tom Lineham did get over in the 39th minute it was rightly ruled out for obstruction.

Wakefield led 12-0 at the break following converted tries from Johnstone - who raced 80m after picking up Widdop’s loose pass - and David Fifita’s barreling effort with his second touch after coming on.

They extended that with a brilliant Lino effort five minutes into the second period.

Prop Fifita, who caused Wolves so many problems, started it with an offload near halfway before Eddie Battye, Jay Pitts and the excellent Max Jowitt all kept the ball alive wonderfully before Lino applied the finish.

Wakefield Trinity players celebrate the win. (TONY JOHNSON)

Samoa scrum-half Lino - back from missing his first game of the season against Huddersfield due to an ankle issue - improved his own score and added a penalty soon after following Jacob Miller’s 40/20 and Austin’s high tackle on Fifita.

When England stand-off George Williams sidestepped over for Warrington in the 57th minute, there was still no sign of the carnage which was to come.

Rather, Lee Kershaw brilliantly intercepted Ratchford’s pass five minutes later to race 90m for Trinity’s fourth try, Lino making it 26-6.

Nevertheless, Austin popped up on the wing to give Steve Price’s side hope in the 67th minute and that set in play the dramatic final stages.

Wakefield Trinity's interim head coach Willie Poching (TONY JOHNSON)

Straight from the re-start, Warrington broke from deep down the right side for Mamo to finish off, Ratchford improving.

And then they repeated the trick as Mamo this time made the searing break from long-range for Josh Charnley to cross in the 71st minute.

Ratchford improved again but youngster Aydin denied them with that vital tackle just as the visitors looked like swarming home once more.

They had another chance after Joe Westerman’s spill but Ben Currie coughed up the ball and so, when Ratchford was harshly adjudged to have stolen the ball from Pitts, Lino spent an age wasting seconds before putting over his kick to seal the triumph.

Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt: Kershaw, Arundel, Senior, Johnstone; Miller, Lino; Arona, B Walker, Tanginoa, Pitts, Ashurst, Westerman. Substitutes: Fifita, Kay, Battye, Aydin.

Warrington Wolves: Ratchford; Lineham, Mamo, Wrench, Charnley; Widdop, Williams; Hill, D Walker, Cooper, Currie, King, Davis. Substitutes: Austin, Akauola, Ashton, Burgess.

Referee: Marcus Griffiths (Widnes).