Wakefield 4 Widnes 46: Hanbury piles the pressure on troubled Wildcats

Reece Lyne of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats is tackled.
Reece Lyne of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats is tackled.
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Full-back Rhys Hanbury scored four tries as Widnes took another major step towards retaining their Super League status with a 46-4 rout of lack-lustre Wakefield at Belle Vue.

The Vikings produced a clinical performance to secure a fourth win from five matches in the Super 8s and leave Wakefield looking at the million-pound play-off tie as their most likely way of preserving their top-flight status.

Widnes went in front via a Lloyd White try, before Hanbury’s first try.

The full-back punished a handling error by Wakefield stand-off Jacob Miller to add a second and replacement hooker Aaron Heremaia crossed for the visitors’ fourth try.

Danny Tickle’s third goal made it 22-0 at half-time and Widnes strengthened their grip two minutes into the second half when Hanbury raced onto Brown’s grubber kick to complete his hat-trick, shortly before Kevin Brown jinked his way over for a solo try, with Tickle kicking a fifth goal.

Wakefield finally stemmed the tide when centre Bill Tupou, easily their best player, freed winger Lee Smith with a delicate one-handed pass and, although he was brought down by a scrambling Brown, Smith forced his way over shortly afterwards for a consolation try.

It did little to disrupt the Vikings’ rhythm, however, as Hanbury went over for his fourth try on the hour after centre Chris Dean had snapped up a kick over the defence from Wakefield scrum-half Tim Smith and winger Paddy Flynn went through some shoddy tackling to score the 100th try of his career.

With Tickle off the field, Ah Van took over the goalkicking and added the last two conversions.

“It was a poor day for us today,” said Wildcats coach Brian Smith.

“It’s very disappointing. We’ll need to improve remarkably next week to get ourselves anywhere near where we like to think we can be.”

Wakefield: Locke, L. Smith, Tupou, Lyne, Tansey, Miller, T. Smith, Mullally, Sio, Anderson, Ashurst, Lauitiiti, Simon. Substitutes: Washbrook, Godinet, Annakin, Scruton.

Widnes: Hanbury, Flynn, Dean, Runciman, Ah Van, Brown, Mellor, Gerrard, White, Dudson, Galea, Tickle, Cahill. Substitutes: Heremaia, Manuokafoa, Clarkson, Whitley.

Referee: J Cobb (RFL).