Wakefield Trinity 33 Salford Red Devils 22: Big forwards Fifita and Pauli lay foundations for Trinity success
The two forwards were both on the scoresheet during a dominant first half display which laid the platform for a precious victory.
Fifita capitalised on some poor Salford handling near their own line to grab the opener, but that was cancelled out by Niall Evalds’ reply which Ed Chamberlain improved. Trinity then made the most of a string of penalties to take control.
Ryan Hampshire stepped through the defence for a fine solo try, Reece Lyne touched down from Jacob Miller’s smart kick and – after Kris Welham had replied with an unconverted touchdown – Pauli powered over off Danny Brough’s pass.
Wakefield led 24-10 at half-time and seemed to be in cruise control when Miller ran on to a last-tackle kick from Brough whose fifth conversion made it 30-10.
Salford rallied with two tries in three minutes – Darrell Olpherts crossing from Jake Bibby’s pass and then Jackson Hastings nipping over for a solo score, Chamberlain converting both – to cut the gap to eight points with 19 minutes left. The visitors pressed strongly after that, but Brough steadied the ship with a penalty goal and then added a one-pointer to complete the scoring 12 minutes from time.
Trinity coach Chris Chester reflected: “It was a really gritty performance from us, they caused us a lot of problems in the second half, but I thought we did a lot of good work in the first.
“We completed really high, about 90 per cent and scored some good tries.
“Ill-discipline in the second half let them back into the game and the one criticism I’ve got is we go into our shells when we’re in front.
“That’s something we need to be better at, but it was a pleasing result.”
Wakefield Trinity: Hampshire, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Arundel, Tupou, Miller, Brough, Fifita, Wood, England, Pauli, Ashurst, Arona. Subs Crowther, King, Kopczak, Horo.
Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Olpherts, Bibby, Welham, Chamberlain, Lui, Hastings, Lawton, Lussick, Dudson, Jones, Griffin, Flanagan. Subs Burke, Walker, Turgut, Inu.
Referee: S Mikalauskas (Leigh).