Wakefield ended Wigan’s top four hopes and celebrated the end of a fantastic season for them by putting the Warriors to the sword by 32 points to nil. Trinity impressed in both attack and defence to deny Wigan a single point, whilst leapfrogging their opponents in the final table in the process.
Countless errors from both sides marred the opening ten minutes of the game before David Fifita crashed over for what he thought was the opening try. This was ruled out by the video referee on review after it was deemed that the forward had lost control of the ball with the line begging after a strong tackle from Liam Farrell.
Wakefield had started the game the better of the two, having good field position on the Wigan line and never being threatened in defence. This put increasing pressure on a Wigan side requiring a blow out score to scrape into the top four, however instead of points, this pressure manifested itself in a horrible chicken wing tackle on Fifita that saw Joel Tomkins sent to the sin bin.
The resulting man advantage allowed Trinity to create an overlap out wide, with Liam Finn producing a slick cut out pass to send Ben Jones-Bishop racing over in the corner. Finn’s touchline conversion sailed through the uprights, giving Wakefield a 6-0 lead within the first 15 minutes.
Wakefield doubled their lead 5 minutes later, with Jacob Miller out-jumping Tommy Leuluai to collect an inch perfect Finn kick towards the posts to cross. Finn again slotted over the extras, pushing Wakefield 12 points in front.
Once again, the game descended into a knock-on-athon, with both teams being guilty of dropping the ball and giving away silly penalties. Despite this, neither team could break the stalemate, with good chances for Oliver Gildart and Scott Grix being wasted, meaning both sides returned to the sheds with the scores remaining at 12-0 in favour of the home side.
The start of the second half brought with it the rain, with the already horrendous handling display worsening with the weather conditions. This was clear with Wakefield blowing two great chances with Jones-Bishop putting down an attempted intercept, and Dead Hadley being unable to take a good offload from David Fifita with the line at his mercy.
Trinity continued to impress when they kept hold of the ball, with a lacklustre Warriors unable to deal with the quick ruck speed. Midway through the half, Jacob Miller produced a majestic step to bamboozle Willie Isa, only to force a high tackle from Sam Tomkins. Finn gladly took the two points on offer, nudging Wakefield into a 14 point lead.
The penalty goal seemed to inspire Wakefield to end their successful season on a high, with the resulting kick off giving Sam Williams the opportunity to kick a superb 40/20. A quick play the ball caught the Wigan defenders napping, with Sam Williams darting his way over from dummy half to take Trinity over the 20 point mark.
Wigan did finally cross the line through a powerful run from Anthony Gelling, however the video referee agreed with the on field decision that Mason Caton-Brown had been obstructed in the build-up, with the try being chalked off.
With the game eventually sparking into life, Wakefield attempted an audacious infield kick which nearly paid off, however Miller was unlawfully taken out whilst chasing. Trinity opted to tap the penalty, but lost the ball yet again during the next play.
Trinity did score minutes later though, with Grix producing a perfect cut out ball to send Jones-Bishop galloping through a hole. Grix was in support to collect the return pass and dive over for Wakefield’s fourth try of the afternoon. Finn maintained his 100% record with the boot to bring his sides tally to 26-0
Wakefield sealed the victory with Keegan Hirst scoring his first try for the club, sparking jubilant celebrations from the Trinity players, supporters and coaches alike. The impressive Liam Finn jinked and jived his way around the hapless Warriors defence, with the offload finding Sam Williams and then Hirst to dive over for a well earned try. Finn converted next to the posts to end the game and end Wigan’s pursuit of St Helens in fourth place, whilst the West Yorkshire club’s memorable season finished on a high note.