Rugby League: Paul's inspiration stops Warrington: League leaders beaten

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Wakefield Trinity . . . . . .12

Warrington. . . . . . . . . .10

WARRINGTON'S championship pretensions suffered a serious blow at Belle Vue last night as Wakefield Trinity climbed out of the bottom two with a well-deserved if unexpected victory.

Warrington looked nothing like league leaders as Wakefield, inspired by the 19-year-old New Zealander, Henry Paul, won for the first time in six matches.

Against the side which has been steadily emerging as the favourite to accompany Leigh into the Second Division, Warrington showed just how badly their confidence had been dented by their contemptuous treatment by Wigan in the Regal Trophy at the weekend.

They could hardly string two passes together and the fact that Wakefield were little better and that Paul and Jonathan Davies missed kickable penalties kept the game scoreless until a rare flash of initiative briefly illuminated it.

Paul, the junior Kiwi captain making his home debut for Trinity, dummied a high kick and then slid a crafty low one towards the try-line. He followed up to snatch it away from Lee Penny for a try which he converted.

Warrington's try five minutes into the second half came from a similarly sudden outbreak of fluency. Greg Mackey's crisp pass released Allan Bateman on a 40-yard run and Kevin Ellis arrived in support to score, Davies failing when his conversion attempt hit the post.

Wakefield extended their two-point lead just before the hour when Paul landed a penalty after Kelly Shelford was penalised in the tackle. Soon afterwards Gary Christie lobbed a pass inside which was well taken by Wilson for Wakefield's second try.

Rowland's Phillips scored a last-minute try, improved by Davies but it would have been an injustice if Warrington had escaped with their title credentials intact.

Wakefield Trinity: Spencer; Brown (Hanlon, 62), Mason, Christie, Wilson; Paul, Conway; Durham (Round, 54), Fuller, Marlow, Bell, Woods, Slater.

Warrington: Penny; Harris, Bateman,

Davies, Myler; Ellis, Mackey; Teitzel (Hilton, 69), Hodkinson, Hilton (Phillips, 25), Cullen, Elliot (Darbyshire, 64), Shelford.

Referee: J Smith (Halifax).