Thursday night rugby was a real mid-table scrap as a Wigan side in the ascendency looked to cement their place in the play-off places while a Wakefield side, seemingly on the wane after a great start to the season, were looking to avoid getting dragged into the relegation dogfight.
The home side were without the injured Tommy Leuluai, skipper Sean O’Loughlin, and Joe Bullock and had an unfamiliar looking bench. Wakefield were without Mason Caton-Brown, replaced in the line up by a semi-fit David Fifita.
Trinity have won just one of their last eight matches but they were victorious when the two sides met in April at the Mobile Rocket Stadium. Wigan had a three win run to defend, but none of the recent victories have been particularly convincing.
It took just three minutes fro Liam Farrell to open the scoring for the Warriors as he spun out of a woeful George King attempted tackle to walk in for a simple score. Zak Hardaker added the conversion for a terrific start for the home side.
With just nine minutes on the clock it was looking ominous for Trinity as Hardaker made the most of a penalty as he took a Farrell pass to outpace the defence and ground. The Wigan full back added the conversion for 12-0.
George Williams was the provider, and Willie Isa the beneficiary as the second rower hit a gap created by his scrum half to run the angle and score. Hardaker added the extras and after fifteen minutes the home side were almost home, Trinity unable to get the ball, let alone anywhere with it.
Wakefield stemmed the tide and held their line until the thirty first minute when a no-look pass from Williams found Farrell in space to go over for his second of the night from ten metres out. Hardaker added the conversion for a twenty-four point lead.
Two minutes later, returning the kick-off, Jake Shorrocks went sixty metres after collecting a tapped back short kick-off, sprinting down the wing without the Trinity defence getting anywhere near him. Hardaker was , on this occasion, unable to add the conversion.
A Jacob Miller pass was easily intercept from Jarrod Sammutt and the scrum half went fifty metres to score under the stick as the half time hooter sounded. Hardkaer added the conversion for a 34-0 half time lead in a half which they had totally dominated.
Trinity got themselves on the scoreboard three minutes after the interval when Ryan Hampshire was on hand to ground a Jacob Miller grubber kick. Danny Brough added the conversion from wide to get six points on the board.
A length of the field try from Oliver Gildart signalled that normal service had resumed for the Warriors after he took the ball on his own line and outpaced the Wakefield defence to go under the sticks, giving Hardaker his easiest conversion of the night to bring up the forty points.
Hampshire picked up his second for Trinity just before the hour mark as he collected a Miller kick to the wing to go twenty meres to touch down in the left corner. Brough converted in off the far upright, Wakefield now 12-40 behind.
Liam Farrell completed his hat-trick on sixty-nine as Wigan moved the ball from right to left, creating the space for him to take a Williams pass and round his tackler to dive over. Hardaker added the sideline conversion for 46-12.
Two minutes from time Max Jowitt scored a late consolation try after David Fifita made all of the movement and caused mayhem in the Wigan defence. Brough missed the goal for a final score of 46-16.
This was a very comfortable win for Wigan who’d sewn up the two points within the opening twenty minutes and then eased off, allowing Trinity some respite and to actually score the most points in the second half. It was an important two points for Wigan but, depending on other results this weekend, could see Wakefield dragged into the relegation battle.
Warriors: Hardaker (T, 7G), Hankinson, Sarginson, Gildart (T), Marshall, Williams, Sammut (T), Navarrete, Powell, Partington, Isa (T), Farrell (3T), Smithies. Subs: Shorrocks (T), Havard, Clubb, Byrne.
Trinity: Jowitt (T), Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Hampshire (2T), Miller, Brough (2G), Tanginoa, Randell, England, Batchelor, Arundel, King. Subs: Wood, Fifita, Annakin, Pauli.
Referee: Rob Hicks.