Warrington Wolves 34 Wakefeld Trinity 24: Lineham treble puts paid to Wakefield’s resistance

Wakefield Trinity try-scorer Ben Jones-Bishop.
Wakefield Trinity try-scorer Ben Jones-Bishop.
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Winger Tom Lineham claimed a hat-trick of tries to help Warrington to a thrilling 34-24 Betfred Super League victory over Wakefield at the Halliwell Jones stadium.

In the week that Warrington signed another winger in Josh Charnley from rugby union side Sale, Lineham claimed a quickfire double in the opening 13 minutes of the game, both created by in-form full-back Stefan Ratchford.

And then in the closing stages Lineham went the length of the field for a spectacular try as he outpaced Ben Jones-Bishop in a thrilling race to the line to claim his hat-trick score.

Wakefield claimed five tries through Reece Lyne, Bill Tupou, Tom Johnstone, Jones-Bishop and Liam Finn in defeat, with Finn and Taylor Randell landing a goal apiece.

England international Ratchford, who kicked three goals, also created a try for Bryson Goodwin, while Mike Cooper and Ben Murdoch-Masila also touched down for the Wolves, with Goodwin also landing two goals.

Wakefield, whose game against Widnes was abandoned the previous week, were forced into a last-minute change when David Fifita pulled out after the warm-up and Keegan Hirst was promoted off the bench to start in the front row.

It was the hosts who made a whirlwind start, taking the lead after just two minutes when Ratchford’s excellent long pass gave Lineham the space to race in at the corner.

The visitors did well to weather the early storm and drew level when some quick hands along the line allowed Lyne to dummy his way over from close range.

But in an almost carbon copy of their first try, the Wolves regained the lead when Ratchford’s pin-point pass allowed Lineham to cross in the corner.

Goodwin, whose first conversion attempt hit the post, saw his second attempt this time go over off the post and then the New Zealand centre added a penalty to give the Wolves a 12-4 lead.

But Wakefield roared back with two tries in three minutes. Firstly, Tupou ghosted past some static Warrington defenders to touch down and then the Tongan centre made a superb 40-metre break and the supporting Jacob Miller was on hand to take the pass before sending Finn over.

That took Finn’s points-scoring run to 31 matches and he added the extras to give his side a two-point lead.

However, Warrington regained the lead just a minute after the restart when a bulldozing 40-metre run straight from the kick-off by Sitaleki Akauola put the Wolves straight on the front foot, and it set up the position from which Ratchford’s pass sent Goodwin clear.

Toby King’s kick was touched down by Cooper and then Murdoch-Masila went on a rampaging 35-metre run for a spectacular try and the points looked secure at 30-14

But Trinity hit back whenJohnstone claimed a fine try to give them hope of a dramatic fightback. But Lineham’s length-of-the-field effort made the game safe, rendering Jones-Bishop’s last-minute effort a consolation score.

Warrington: Ratchford, Lineham, Goodwin, T. King, M. Brown, K. Brown, Roberts, Hill, Clark, Cooper, Westwood, Hughes, G. King. Substitutes: Murdoch-Masila, Akauola, Philbin, Livett.

Wakefield: Grix, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone, Miller, Finn, Fifita, Randell, England, Kirmond, Ashurst, Horo. Substitutes: Pauli, Huby, Hirst, Hampshire.

Referee: James Child (RFL).