Wakefield 12-42 Warrington

Stefan Ratchford
Stefan Ratchford

Stefan Ratchford marked his comeback from injury with two tries as Warrington moved to within a point of Super League leaders Wigan.

Ryan Atkins and Chris Riley scored for Wolves, but Frankie Mariano and Steve Southern also crossed to keep Wakefield on terms at the break.

But Ratchford, who had been out for 11 weeks with a shoulder injury, scored twice and Atkins completed his treble.

Winger Riley grabbed a late second after intercepting a Kyle Wood pass.

Wakefield, who lost 32-30 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in March, belied their lowly position with some entertaining rugby that caused all sorts of problems for the Wire.

The home side deservedly took the lead when half-backs Tim Smith and Isaac John combined with loose forward Danny Washbrook to get second rower Mariano charging over for a fifth-minute try, but Warrington demonstrated their class to score twice in 13 minutes.

Atkins took Hodgson's pass to go through a gap for his side's first try and then sent Riley over at the corner after Gareth O'Brien's long, looping pass created an overlap.

Hodgson's second conversion made it 12-6 but a flurry of penalties enabled the Wildcats to build some pressure.

It paid off when replacement forward Steve Southern crashed over to mark his return from a calf strain.

Paul Sykes' second goal tied the scores and Wakefield dominated the early stages of the second half without being able to crack a superbly-drilled Wolves defence.

A superb offload by Blythe got Ratchford racing over for his side's third try, to which Hodgson added his third goal, and that effectively ended the game as a contest.

Atkins went over twice in nine minutes to complete his hat-trick before Riley intercepted a pass by Wakefield substitute Wood to grab his second.


Warrington coach Tony Smith:

"I thought Stefan Ratchford did a great job. He was jumping out of his skin to play.

"I threw him in at the deep end but he's been training with such enthusiasm for the last few weeks that I knew he would do a good job.

"It's a tough place to come to and play well. The crowd is on top of you and Wakefield are a good attacking team.

"It took some time for us to get some continuity and flow in the game but we took some things in our hands in the second half. We took control and got our reward."

Wakefield coach Richard Agar:

"We went toe to toe with them in the first half and we could probably be disappointed we didn't post more points.

"We got over the line a couple of times, but I felt we lost our way in the second half with the way we used the ball and the last 20 minutes is a big concern.

"While Warrington are a good side, I'm dismayed at the way we didn't front up for the last 20.

"That's a major concern for me. I would like to have seen us show a bit more resolve. We certainly didn't handle the pressure well."


Wakefield: Mathers; Fox, Collis, Sykes, Cockayne; John, Smith; Johnson, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Mariano, Washbrook.

Replacements: Wood, Amor, Southern, Trout.

Warrington: Hodgson; Riley, Atkins, Blythe, Williams; Ratchford, O'Brien; Hill, Higham, Wood, McCarthy, Westwood, Harrison.

Replacements: Carvell, Cooper, Grix, Currie.

Attendance: 8,483.

Referee: Tim Roby (RFL).