Australian hooker Tyler Randell scored twice on his debut as Wakefield cemented their place in the top four of Betfred Super League with a convincing 43-18 Super 8s victory over Salford at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Signed from Newcastle Knights only last month, Randell showed great speed off the mark with both his tries while scrum-half Liam Finn produced a kicking masterclass with nine goals from as many attempts for Chris Chester’s side.
Stand-off Jacob Miller also scored two tries as the visitors scored 30 points without reply in a devastating spell either side of half-time.
Salford had won just once in their last 10 games but they made a bright start, scoring after just three minutes. Prop Craig Kopczak spun over from close range to score by the posts and Todd Carney added the conversion to make it 6-0.
But Wakefield scored twice in quick succession and both tries were the result of kicks. In the 13th minute, Miller followed up his own grubber kick and was able to win the race for the ball and touch down. Finn added the conversion.
It was a kick from Finn which created Wakefield’s second try. The ball was allowed to bounce by the Salford defence and reclaimed by Wakefield who shipped it to the left edge where centre Joe Arundel was able to slide over for a try. Finn kicked the conversion from touch.
On virtually their first attack inside the Wakefield 20 since scoring, Salford drew level with a try from Greg Johnson nine minutes before half-time. Carney kicked the goal from the touchline to level the scores at 12-12.
But the visitors were soon back in front and once again it was the result of a kick. Finn’s bomb caused chaos amid the Salford defence and Wakefield quickly moved the ball to Miller who was able to score his second try which Finn converted.
Wakefield extended their lead to 22-12 by half-time thanks to two penalties from Finn as Salford were pulled up twice by referee Phil Bentham.
Finn kicked a third penalty five minutes into the second half after Salford’s Olsi Krasniqi was penalised for a dangerous tackle. And moments later, Randell sprinted clear to score from 25 metres, affording Finn a simple shot at goal for a 30-12 lead.
Winger Bill Tupou produced a fine finish to score a try in the corner after 51 minutes before Randell shot under the posts for his second soon after. With Finn kicking brilliantly, Wakefield were out of sight, leading 42-12.
With eight minutes remaining, Tyrone McCarthy scored his first try for Salford and Carney kicked the conversion but it was of no consolation to the Red Devils who have not won a game since July 2.
Miller completed the scoring with a drop goal three minutes from time.
Salford Red Devils: O’Brien, Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Vatuvei, Lui, T Carney, Kopczak, Tomkins, Hauraki, Murdoch-Masila, Lannon, McCarthy. Replacements (all used): Griffin, Brinning, Krasniqi, Jones.
Wakefield Trinity: Grix, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Arundel, B. Tupou, Miller, Finn, England, Randell, Hirst, Ashurst, Kirmond, Arona. Replacements (all used): Hadley, Fifita, Huby, Annakin.
Referee: Phil Bentham (RFL).