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Wakefield 24 Widnes 14

In-form Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have the play-offs in their sights once more after brushing aside Widnes Vikings to register a fourth successive win.
Wakefield 24 Widnes 14
by rleague.com

In-form Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have the play-offs in their sights once more after brushing aside Widnes Vikings to register a fourth successive win.

The Wildcats, who produced a club Super League record seven-match winning run to reach the play-offs last season, overcame the loss of Paul Sykes and Dean Collis before half-time to maintain their momentum.

Richard Agar's men will now have a week off to prepare for back-to-back clashes with Leeds Rhinos while the Vikings go to Wigan Warriors for their Challenge Cup quarter-final next Monday on the back of just one win in eight matches. Widnes had their moments in the first half but they finished a well-beaten team.

It took Wakefield just three minutes to open the scoring as centre Collis timed his run to perfection to touch down Richard Mathers' grubber kick to register his 12th try of the season.

Lee Smith added the goal to make it 6-0 but the Vikings hit back on eight minutes when left winger Patrick Ah Van took stand-off Kevin Brown's cut-out pass to cross unopposed at the corner and he would have had a second try had he been able to take Rhys Hanbury's pass.

Widnes were on top at that stage but Wakefield captain Danny Kirmond, playing with painkillers to defy a finger injury, kept his side in front with two more examples of his inspirational bravery.

He came up with an ankle tap to halt the dangerous Hanbury in full flow and then chased back to bring down Hep Cahill after the Widnes forward had gone 50 metres on a run from deep inside his own half.

They were the highlights of a drab first half until the Wildcats' former Leeds second rower Ali Lauitiiti came into his own.

Collis went off with a leg injury shortly after scoring his try and Wakefield also lost stand-off Paul Sykes, with both men spotted on crutches during the interval.

But Wakefield turned adversity to their advantage as the early introduction of Lauitiiti from the bench, allied to the switch of Frankie Mariano from the pack, added a cutting edge to their left-sided attack.

The veteran New Zealander dummied his way over for his side's second try on 29 minutes and almost put through Ben Cockayne just before half-time with some more slick ball play.

Trailing 12-4 at the break, Widnes thought they were back in it when Hanbury touched down a Brown high kick but video referee Steve Ganson disallowed the try for obstruction by Ah Van and that signalled the end of the game as a contest.

Within 10 minutes, Wakefield had scored two more converted tries, largely through the efforts of England squad man Cockayne.

The former Hull KR favourite, who was the subject of a bid from his old club last week, made the most of a free play after Macgraff Leuluai had knocked on, sprinting into space and finding Mariano on his inside.

Mariano then turned trymaker, producing a delightful offload to release Cockayne and replacement hooker Mattie Wildie was in support to score his first Super League try of the season.

Lee Smith kicked his fourth goal from as many attempts but Widnes at least finished with a flurry.

Brown put his brother-in-law Gareth Hock through a hole in the Wildcats defence on the hour and he finished off at the corner while Hanbury deservedly got a consolation try four minutes from the end, with Jack Owens kicking his only goal from three attempts.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 24
Tries: Dean Collis, Ali Lauitiiti, Frankie Mariano, Matty Wildie
Goals: Lee Smith 4

Widnes Vikings 14
Tries: Patrick Ah Van, Gareth Hock, Rhys Hanbury
Goals: Jack Owens

Date: Monday 8th July 2013
Venue: The Rapid Solicitors Stadium
Crowd: 7,543
Referee: R Silverwood
Half Time: Wakefield 12-4


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