The Wildcats are on the prowl, their fourth win in a row taking them to within one victory of the Super League play-off places. Wakefield are a point behind eighth-placed Hull, with a game in hand, so a repeat of last season’s unlikely achievement is on the cards.
“It wasn’t our best performance but we were prepared to defend,” said their coach, Richard Agar. “Last year’s experience will stand the boys in good stead.”
They did it the hard way, losing Dean Collis and Paul Sykes to serious injuries but their seriousness about reaching the play-offs was illustrated by the decision of their captain, Danny Kirmond, to keep playing until the end of the season, despite a ruptured finger tendon.
A cheap penalty, a clever kick from Richard Mathers, had Collis diving in for a third-minute try but Patrick Ah Van replied from Kevin Brown’s imaginative pass. The closest either side came to a try over the next 20 minutes was when Kirmond, strapped fingers and all, chased down Hep Cahill.
Ali Lauitiiti claimed his first try of the season on the Wildcats’ next attack. Lee Smith’s second conversion made it an eight-point lead at half-time. After the break Ben Cockayne picked up a loose ball knocked on by Magraff Leuluai and sent Frankie Mariano away. Another run by the permanently dangerous Cockayne set up Matthew Wildie as Wakefield threatened to run away with it.
Instead, they conceded one to Gareth Hock and Cahill went close to another. When Rhys Hanbury sneaked in three minutes from time, it looked fairly respectable.
Wakefield Mathers; Fox, Collis, L Smith, Cockayne; Sykes, T Smith; Poore, Aiton, Amor, Mariano, Kirmond, Washbrook. Substitutes used Lauitiiti, Raleigh, Wilkes, Wildie.
Widnes Hanbury; Owens, Phelps, Marsh, Ah Van; Brown, Craven; Gerrard, Clarke, O’Carroll, Hock, Allen, Cahill. Substitutes used Kavanagh, Joseph, Gore, Leuluai.
Referee R Silverwood (Mirfield).