Widnes Vikings recorded a club record 11th consecutive league defeat as they were beaten 44 – 22 by Wakefield Trinity at the Mobile Rocket stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The game was over by half time as Wakefield led 22–0 thanks to tries from Tom Johnstone, Ben Jones-Bishop, Bill Tupou and Ryan Hampshire.
Widnes responded in the second half and scored four tries of their own through Stefan Marsh, Danny Walker, Alex Gerrard and Ryan Ince.
However Trinity continued to pile on the points and tries from James Batchelor, Tinirau Arona, Reece Lyne and a second from Tupou secured the two points for the home side.
Both teams were in an arm wrestle early on and the Vikings almost took the lead through Olly Ashall-Bott on a free play but he knocked on when he looked certain to score.
Wakefield punished Widnes’ inability to score as Johnstone showed why he’s one of rugby league’s hottest properties by beating a number of Widnes defenders then showing a clean pair of heels to score.
Just minutes later, Jones-Bishop crossed the whitewash after a kick from Jacob Miller was collected by the winger to touch down superbly. Next up, both Tupou and Lyne got in on the act and put Wakefield firmly in control with 40 minutes still to play.
It was the home side who came out of the blocks fastest in the second half and Tupou grabbed his second of the afternoon after powering his way through the Widnes rearguard to score.
The Vikings finally got themselves on the board as quick hands to the left gave Marsh space to finish off the move in the corner.
Batchelor was the next Trinity player to get his name on the scoreboard after another top performance from the youngster, who ran a good line to score his richly deserved try.
Two pieces of good work from Widnes hooker Walker enabled the Vikings to score twice, first going himself from dummy half and then giving a short ball to Gerrard to crash over.
Ince crossed for the away side late on but his effort was sandwiched between two further Wakefield scores from Arona and Lyne.
The win keeps Wakefield in sixth but pulls them four points clear of the bottom four. For Widnes, their 11th defeat on the bounce leaves them rooted to the bottom on the league with a third wooden spoon in seven seasons look increasingly likely.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Top Four not Bottom Four for Wakefield?
This win against the Widnes Vikings pulls Wakefield away from the bottom four scrap and further towards the top end of the table, although they are still six points behind Warrington in fourth.
The question most Wakefield fans will be asking themselves is can they reach the top four come the seasons end?
Trinity’s form this year has been scratchy with consistency being a problem fro Chris Chester’s men. However on their day, they are more than capable of beating anyone and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them break into the top four, but at the expense of who is the overriding question.
Rudderless Widnes aren’t treading water, they’re sinking fast
It seems an age since Widnes topped Super League back at the start of 2016, with some calls even suggesting they could be the Leicester City of rugby league.
However since then the Vikings have treaded the waters of Super League, scrapping into the Top 8’s that year thanks to their early season form and narrowly avoiding the Million Pound game last season.
The time of treading water has long since gone and Widnes are sinking rapidly on a course for the Championship if something doesn’t change and fast.
Man Of The Match – James Batchelor (Wakefield Trinity)
It was an all-round performance from the young forward on Sunday afternoon, grabbing a try, kicking five goals and working tirelessly in both attack and defence.
It was a mature showing from the academy graduate who stepped up after Danny Kirmond left the field early on and led from the front with his actions from loose forward.
His try capped off a solid game and was nothing short of what he deserved on a day he firmly announced himself as an integral figure to this Wakefield side going forward towards the end of the season, despite his tender age.
Wakefield Trinity 44
Tries: Johnstone, Jones-Bishop, Tupou (2), Hampshire, Batchelor, Arona, Lyne
Goals: Batchelor (5), Hampshire
Drop Goals: n/a
Widnes Vikings 22
Tries: Marsh, Walker, Gerrard, Ince
Goals: Gilmore (3)
Drop Goals: n/a
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Johnstone, Lyne, Tupou, Jones-Bishop, Miller, Hampshire, Hirst, Randell, England, Kirmond, Ashurst, Batchelor
Interchanges: Wood, Pauli, Arona, Fifita
Widnes Vikings: Ashall-Bott, Marsh, Runicman, Inu, Ince, Mellor, Gilmore, J.Chapelhow, Heremaia, Dudson, Whitley, Hauraki, Gerrard
Interchanges: Leuluai, Wilde, Walker, T.Chapelhow
Referee: Liam Moore