LIAM FINN collected a 20-point haul as Super League’s team of the moment Wakefield Trinity Wildcats strode into round six of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup with a 44-10 victory over Sheffield Eagles.
In-form Trinity, bottom of the table less than a month ago but buoyed by four straight league victories since Chris Chester took over as head coach, slipped behind briefly but then ran in eight tries to brush aside their Championship opposition.
Finn, who pounced for a pair of tries, Tom Johnstone, Ben Jones-Bishop, Tinirau Arona and Mickael Simon all crossed before the break to give the home side a 32-10 half-time lead, then Mikey Sio and Arona added a further tries in a scrappy 40 minutes after the interval.
The Eagles managed a pair of first-half tries from Menzie Yere, with Keal Carlile going within inches of claiming another midway through the second period.
Sheffield struck after just three minutes when a poor pass from Carlile found the boot of Yere, who stabbed the ball forward before successfully chasing and touching down.
Cory Aston converted but the visitors’ lead lasted less than 10 minutes as Arona put Jacob Miller clear for Finn to score and then the conversion.
Shortly afterwards Miller’s long cut-out pass found free-scoring Johnstone, who darted over near the corner flag for his seventh try in the last five games.
Johnstone then turned creator, beginning a 60-metre move down the Trinity right before sending Craig Hall clear and ultimately Finn over for his second try, although the half-back was unable to add either conversion.
Sheffield hit back with Yere grabbing a second try in the corner, Aston this time time failing to improve the score.
But Jones-Bishop juggled a pass into his grasp before diving over out wide, Arona then went under the posts and Simon barged his way over.
Sio set the scoreboard moving again after the restart as the Eagles fought hard but increasingly struggled to handle the Super League outfit’s power and pace.
Despite Trinity being largely in control, they failed to add to their score in the closing half-hour until the impressive Arona claimed his second score a minute from time.
Wakefield: Hall, Jones-Bishop, Gibson, Arundel, Johnstone, Miller, Finn, England, Howarth, Arona, A. Tupou, Ashurst, Sio. Substitutes: Simon, Annakin, Yates, Walton.
Sheffield: Laulu-Togagae, Worrincy, Yere, Tyson, Millar, Aston, Hewitt, Thorpe, Carlile, Stringer, James, Straughier, Knowles. Substitutes: Fozard, Minchella, Neal, Mexico.
Referee: B Thaler (RFL).