Rugby League

Wakefield 33-22 Salford: Wakefield hold out spirited Red Devils

Wakefield held off a spirited fightback from Salford to win 33-22 and leapfrog their opponents into fourth place in the Betfred Super League.

Both sides attacked better than they defended and the result was an entertaining affair at the Mobile Rocket Stadium.

Heavyweight forwards David Fifita and Pauli Pauli were the heroes for Trinity, who led 30-10 early in the second half but needed the calming influence of veteran half-back Danny Brough to see them home after the visitors produced a second-half rally.

Chris Chester’s men were boosted by the return from injury of winger Bill Tupou and former Salford second rower Matty Ashurst while Salford gave a debut to former Widnes centre Krisnan Inu.

Wakefield were gifted their first try, Adam Lawton making the worst possible start to his first Super League start by dropping the ball in front of his own posts 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 making a break after they ran the ball on the last tackle and winger Derrell Olpherts kicked ahead for full-back Niall Evalds to score his seventh try of the season.

Ed Chamberlain’s conversion levelled the scores but the Red Devils defence cracked alarmingly twice in seven minutes, allowing full-back Ryan Hampshire to ghost his way over and giving centre Reece Lyne a free run to touch down Jacob Miller’s lofted kick.

The defensive lapses gave Salford an uphill task as they trailed 18-6 but there was not much wrong with their attack, with half-backs Jackson Hastings and Rob Lui probing intelligently.

Hastings’ clean break ought to have produced a try but the visitors reduced the deficit after 31 minutes when Lui’s cut-out pass freed Chamberlain on the wing and Kris Welham was in support to score their second try.

There looked to be no way back for Salford when second rower Pauli proved unstoppable after taking Brough’s short pass close to the line to score a fourth Wakefield try just before the break.

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.

But Salford are full of fight these days and they gave themselves renewed hope with two tries in a nine-minute spell.

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