Widnes Vikings 6 Wakefield Trinity 19: First-half display secures Trinity deserved triumph

Wakefield's Pauli Pauli. Picture Tony Johnson.
Wakefield's Pauli Pauli. Picture Tony Johnson.
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THREE first-half tries from Wakefield laid the platform for a battling 19-6 win over sorry Widnes who slumped to their eighth defeat in a row.

Chris Chester’s side were made to work hard for the two points after a commanding first-half display featuring tries from Pauli Pauli, Tom Johnstone and David Fifita put them well in charge.

But they never hit the afterburners required to pull away from the Vikings who hit back with a try from Pat Ah Van to give them a flicker of hope, however Wakefield just did enough to register their seventh win of the season.

Stefan Marsh put the injury-hit Vikings in front after nine minutes with a simple penalty goal from in front of the sticks.

It was Wakefield who plundered the first try of the night after Widnes’s left-hand side of Matty Whitley and Charly Runciman came up with an error with the ball.

It was easy for Ryan Hampshire to drop the ball of to the onrushing Pauli who barged over with three Vikings defenders on his back.

James Batchelor added the extras and Trinity looked good value for the early lead.

Vikings skipper Joe Mellor was nearly rewarded for his impressive start to the game as he tried to step his way over on the last tackle, but he was just held up.

Ah Van was the next cab on the rank as Widnes sent the ball wide on the left-hand side but again the Vikings were denied.

Widnes were then hit with a sucker punch as Trinity fought back and after some good work from Tyler Randell, Jacob Miller was released and it was his ball that looped over the head of Marsh into the arms of Johnstone who finished off in acrobatic style.

The kick was missed but Batchelor was soon having another shot at goal as Fifita burst over with a superb running line after Randell had spotted a gap.

The Vikings had it all to do at 16-2 down at the break and their fans made their feeling known to the players and boss Denis Betts as boos rang out.

Betts’s side needed a reaction and they got it as Mellor’s spiral run was finished off by Ah Van in the corner. Widnes then had two tries chalked off by referee Robert Hicks.

Ah Van was hauled back for forward pass and then Ed Chamberlain was held up over the line when it looked like the Irish centre had grounded.

Batchelor inched Wakey closer to the finish line with a penalty 13 minutes from time and Miller had the final say with a one-pointer to seal the win.

Widnes Vikings: Craven, Ah Van, Runciman, Chamberlain, Marsh, Mellor, Heremaia, Chapelhow, Johnstone, Burke, Whitley, Wilde, Cahill. Substitutes: Olbison, Leuluai, D. Walker, W. Albert.

Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Jones-Bishop, Tupou, Lyne, Johnstone, Miller, Hampshire, England, Randell, Hirst, Horo, Pauli, Batchelor. Substitutes: Fifita, Wood, Arona, Annakin.

Referee: Robert Hicks (RFL)