Rooney guides Trinity to second win

Wakefield 18 - Wigan 16
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The Independent Online

Wakefield put down another marker for their startling improvement over the last couple of years as they took the only scalp to have eluded them before now. While not always at their best technically, the Wildcats' fiercely committed performance, spearheaded by the incisive running of Jamie Rooney, was just enough to hold off a below strength Wigan.

Wakefield put down another marker for their startling improvement over the last couple of years as they took the only scalp to have eluded them before now. While not always at their best technically, the Wildcats' fiercely committed performance, spearheaded by the incisive running of Jamie Rooney, was just enough to hold off a below strength Wigan.

Wakefield had made such an impressive start to the season at Bradford last week and Wigan's side had such a youthful and patched up look to it that Trinity started as clear favourites. Their first couple of attacks broke down, however, with knock-ons near the Wigan line that set the tone for most of the first half, and it was the visitors who took the lead with Danny Tickle's penalty after Wakefield had been caught offside.

Rooney missed a chance to equalise when Tickle knocked-on and Terry Newton was penalised for dissent, and Wakefield continued to waste their attacking opportunities with the ball in hand. They finally drew level when David Solomona's offload to Jason Demetriou sparked an attack which ended with Harrison Hansen caught offside. Rooney put over the penalty.

The game had been a scrappy affair, rather than the spectacle that had been anticipated in crisp but otherwise perfect conditions, but some good handling brought the first try, albeit with some inadvertent help from the defence. Wakefield put the ball through several pairs of hands and although Kevin King's pass was charged down, the ricochet went straight into the arms of the captain, Demetriou, who reacted quickly enough to hold on and dive over the Wigan line. Rooney added the conversion.

Four minutes later, Wakefield went further ahead in spectacular style. Kris Radlinski had been halted just short and Wigan were still pressing strongly, but Dennis Moran's long pass was picked up by Rooney, who showed exceptional pace in running 90 metres to score in the corner, just squeezing inside the flag despite Liam Colbon's last ditch tackle.

Jerry Seuseu was placed on report for the second time in his first two games for Wigan for a late tackle on Julian O'Neill, but another of their new boys brought them back into the game after 45 minutes. Moran threw the long pass and although Colbon was held in the corner he managed to flick the ball back for David Vaealiki to score.

Tickle missed the conversion and Rooney put over a penalty for Wakefield after Seuseu had held down Michael Korkidas. Wigan's task appeared to grow harder when Wayne Godwin, another newcomer to the club this season, was sin-binned for interfering in the tackle, but almost immediately they scored again when Vaealiki got the ball away to Gareth Hock.

Just before Godwin's return, Wakefield finally made their one-man advantage pay, strong running from Korkidas and Solomona's final pass allowing Semi Tadulala to cut infield to score.

Newton's try two minutes from time raised the possibility of a Wigan escape, but Wakefield deservedly held on.

Wakefield: M Field; Halpenny, Demetriou, King, Tadulala; Rooney, Jeffries; Griffin, March, Korkidas, Elima, J Field, O'Neill. Substitutes used: Obst, Wrench, Feather, Solomona.

Wigan: Radlinski; Aspinwall, Wild, Vaealiki, Colbon; Orr, Moran; Seuseu, Newton, Tickle, Hock, Hansen, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: Brown, Godwin, Allen, Hargreaves.

Referee: R Silverwood (Mirfield).

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