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Wolves staring at bottom four finish after Wakefield setback

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PICTURES EDDIE WHITHAM

WARRINGTON Wolves slumped to a 12th defeat of the season and slipped down to 10th in the table with a 26-12 loss at Wakefield.

The defeat leaves Tony Smith’s men staring at a bottom four finish and a place in The Qualifiers against the top four Championship teams and the threat of relegation.

Their latest setback, against Chris Chester’s high-flying Trinity side, could leave them five points adrift of the top eight with just six points to play for depending on results for Huddersfield and Wigan tomorrow.

In this one, a Liam Finn penalty put the hosts ahead, but Brad Dwyer’s scoot from dummy half, converted by Stefan Ratchford put the Wolves 6-2 to the good.

Warrington couldn’t take advantage of more field position after that, and trailed on 22 minutes when Bill Tupou collected a kick and crossed for their first try, converted by Finn.

Another Finn goal edged Trinity out to 10-6, and then three minutes before half time they took control.

A drop out forced a repeat set and then off the back of a penalty, an overlap down the right hand side saw Ben Jones-Bishop cross the line and they led 14-6 at the break.

The first score of the second half was going to be crucial, and it went to Wakefield on 50 minutes, Kyle Wood going over from dummy half.

Warrington had no choice but to go for it, and they managed to get themselves within two scores through Chris Hill, who powered over underneath the sticks, enabling the deficit to be reduced to 20-10.

But it wasn’t enough to inspire a comeback, and Mason Caton-Brown’s try six minutes from time made the order too tall for Smith’s men and they had to accept another defeat.

After the match Smith said: “”Our last plays were not good enough this week.  I thought our goal-line defence was pretty good in the first half but it took its toll and cost us in terms of energy and affected our decision-making.”

He admitted it was now unlikely the Wolves would make the Super 8s adding; ” There would have to be some real twists and turns for that to happen.

“But if we don’t make it we will do what Leeds did and roll up our sleeves and get on with it.”

Wakefield Trinity: Grix; Jones-Bishop, Lyne, B Tupou, Caton-Brown; Williams, Finn; England, Wood, Huby, Ashurst, Hadley, Arona. Replacements: Arundel, Annakin, Hirst, Walker.

Warrington Wolves: Dagger; Johnson, Hiku, Atkins, Penny; Ratchford, Gidley; Hill, Dwyer, Cooper, Jullien, Hughes, Philbin. Replacements: Clark, Sims, Savelio, Wilde.

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Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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