Wakefield 21 Warrington 22: Bridge hauls Warrington to unlikely victory over shocked Trinity

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Chris Bridge carried Warrington to victory in an extreme example of that old war horse, "the game of two halves". The Wolves were 21 points down at half-time and going nowhere. The contribution of Bridge, with two tries and three goals, plus some favourable rulings from the officials, saw them finish as relieved and not necessarily deserved winners.

"It was a win for team spirit," said their coach, Paul Cullen. "We've half a dozen players nowhere near their best form. We just have to work hard at it."

Warrington's resurgence began when Bridge and Jon Clarke sent Toa Kohe-Love over after 46 minutes. Even then Lee Briers, who had endured a nightmare first half, missed an easy conversion. The game was almost an hour old when Michael Sullivan, whose introduction had perked up the Wolves considerably, sent Bridge over for his first.

It was then that crucial decisions started to go against Wakefield, with their coach Tony Smith adamant that Briers had been wrongly given a 40-20 kick and that Henry Fa'afili got away with a knock-on.

The upshot was that Logan Swann scored from another Sullivan pass. When they got a penalty for an obstruction on Bridge their momentum became unstoppable and the former Bradford utility back won the game by timing his run onto Briers' grubber kick and putting over the simple conversion.

"Of course we deserved something from the game, but in the second half we weren't allowed to play," said Smith. In the first, they had often played brilliantly, with Jamie Rooney running the show.

After Semi Tadulala had given Trinity the lead, from a brilliant run by Tom Saxton, Rooney scored all the points, from two tries, four place-kicks and a cheeky drop goal. That should have been enough, but Wakefield were left with only the fact that they are above Wigan at the foot of the Super League table to console them.

"I'm still smiling," Smith insisted. "We've lost, but we know deep down that we were the better team today."

He could make that justifiable claim even without two of his most influential players, David Solomona and Ben Jeffries, neither of whom is likely to be fit in time to play against Wigan in the Challenge Cup next Sunday.

Wakefield: Saxton; Halpenny, Demetriou, Whittle, Tadulala; Rooney, Obst; MacGillivray, March, Catic, Field, Elima, Betham. Substitutes used: Korkidas, Griffin, White, Applegarth.

Warrington: Grose; Faíafili, Gleeson, Kohe-Love, Barnett; Briers, Bridge; Leikvoll, Clarke, Wood, Swann, Wainwright, Westwood.

Substitutes used: Sullivan, Parker, Noone, Pickersgill.

Referee: A Klein (Keighley).

* Huddersfield held off a fightback to beat Castleford 36-22 at The Jungle. The Giants scored four tries in the first 11 minutes before the Tigers levelled on the hour. Huddersfield scored twice in the last 10 minutes to win.

Comments