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MATCH REPORT | Wakefield Trinity 33-22 Salford Red Devils

Wakefield held off a spirited Salford fightback to cling on to their fourth victory of the season as they won 33-22 at the Mobile Rocket Stadium.

 

MATCH DETAILS

Both sides attacked far more impressively than they defended in the enthralling encounter, with the hosts eventually sealing victory to move above the travelling Red Devils into fourth spot in the Super League table.

Wakefield led 30-10 early in the second half as forwards David Fifita and Pauli Pauli were on top form, but the flawless kicking of veteran half-back Danny Brough was imperative after the visitors rallied late on.

Chris Chester’s side were boosted by the return of Bill Tupou and former Salford man Matty Ashurst, both having recovered from injury, while the away side gave a debut to Krisnan Inu.

Salford have been impressive so far in 2019, but made an uncharacteristically sloppy start to the match, gifting Trinity the first try of the game, with Adam Lawton feeling the pressure on his full Super League debut as he dropped the ball in front of his own sticks for Fifita to pick up and score.

Brough kicked the first of his six goals to make it 6-0, but Salford hit back impressively. Second rower Josh Jones made a break and after neat kicking from Derrell Olpherts, full-back Niall Evalds scored his seventh try of the season to get the Devils right back in the contest.

Ed Chamberlain’s conversion levelled the scores but the vistiors’ defence cracked not once but twice in seven minutes. First, Ryan Hampshire made his way over untroubled before Reece Lyne a free charge to touch down Jacob Miller’s punt.

These defensive lapses meant Saflord had it all to do, behind 18-6, but there attack continued to impress – half-backs Jackson Hastings and Rob Lui probing dangerously.

The visitors reduced the deficit ten minutes from the break when Lui’s intercepted pass freed Chamberlain wide on the wing and Kris Welham was in support to score Salford’s second try.

But then, Pauli proved unstoppable once more after taking Brough’s short pass just metres from the line to score a fourth Wakefield try just before half time.

That made it 24-10 and Trinity were virtually out of sight after 52 minutes when Brough’s delicate kick off the inside of his boot was read instinctively by his half-back partner Miller as he touched down for a fifth try.

However, Salford never give up and they had renewed hope as winger Olpherts finished off a flowing move in the corner – Hastings followed suite through the middle soon after and, after Chamberlain converted both tries, the gap was down to eight points.

Alas, the calm head of Danny Brough eased any Wakefield nerves as the experienced kicker made a penalty and then a drop goal as the home side saw the game out to seal victory.

 

FOUR POINTERS

Wakefield were lucky

It’s not often Salford make as many mistakes as they did on Sunday, but Wakefield were there and ready to take full advantage. Of course, the hosts played some wonderful rugby at times, but without the errors from the travelling Red Devils, the game would have bene much, much closer.

Salford will be disappointed

To score 22 points away from home and not come close to the win will be majorly disappointing for a Salford side who have started 2019 brilliantly. They did enough going forward to beat most teams but, as already stated, those mistakes were fatal.

Brough stepped up

The attention will be on the Wakefield wingers for sealing an important victory, but Danny Brough deserves a special mention. One of Super League’s all-time top point-scorers, the veteran held his nerve to deliver a flawless display of kicking which ultimately won his side the game.

Wakefield have set themselves up nicely

Having had a rather good close season, many people saw this positive start to the campaign coming for Wakefield. And with games against the often misfiring Huddersfield Giants and Wigan Warriors up next, we could see Trinity climb even higher in the coming weeks.

 

THE RESULT

Wakefield Trinity 33
Tries: Fifita, Hampshire, Lyne, Pauli, Miller
Goals: Brough (7)
Drop Goals: Brough

Salford Red Devils 22
Tries: Evalds, Welham, Olpherts, Hastings
Goals: Chamberlain (3)
Drop Goals: n/a

 

SQUADS

Wakefield Trinity: Hampshire; Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Arundel, Tupou; Miller, Brough; Fifita, Wood, England, Pauli, Ashurst, Arona.

Interchanges: Crowther, King, Kopczak, Horo.

Salford Red Devils: Evalds; Olpherts, Bibby, Welham, Chamberlain; Lui, Hastings; Lawton, Lussick, Dudson, Jones, Griffin, Flanagan.

Interchanges: Burke, Walker, Turgut, Inu.

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