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Wolves cruise to win on homecoming thanks to Austin hat-trick

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WARRINGTON Wolves marked their return to the Halliwell Jones Stadium with a comfortable 36-0 win over Wakefield.

Blake Austin crossed for a hat-trick of tries as Steve Price’s side recorded their fifth successive win to go third in the Super League table.

Trinity deserved credit for their sacrifices in enabling the game to go ahead, having been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak at Catalans, but they got little in the way of thanks from the Wolves, who recorded a fifth straight win on their return to home turf.

It took Warrington 18 minutes to get on the board though, a couple of half chances scuppered by forward passes or scrapping defence, eventually taking the lead through centre Toby King, who continued his fine form in 2020.

A dummy by Austin took him through for his first try, and after Daryl Clark had twice ignored what looked like a sure-fire overlap on the left, the Wolves moved it quickly right for winger Josh Charnley to cross in the corner and give them a 16-0 half-time lead.

Austin’s second came from nothing too, the half-back pondering options 40 metres out, and then dropping a shoulder to find a gap, and he just about had the legs to cross under the sticks despite the attention of two defenders.

That was 24-0 and the game done, as it then became about damage limitation for Chris Chester’s side, who have now lost 18 of their last 23 Super League matches.

Even when Kelepi Tanginoa charged through the middle in the second half and looked to have put Jacob Miller around the full-back to score, the enthusiastic Jake Mamo got back to make a try-saving intervention.

Wakefield tried their best to make something happen in the second third of the match, without troubling the scorers – and their evening was perhaps best summed up when Ben Currie swallowed Jacob Miller’s short kick on the last and then scampered 90 metres for a try.

There was yet more injury woe for Trinity too, losing Bill Tupou to concussion and though Kyle Wood was able to return after a HIA of his own, on loan winger Innes Senior went off after falling awkwardly on his ankle.

Austin put the icing on the cake four minutes from time, Stefan Ratchford making the break and offloading for Matt Davis, who did well to get the ball away and on a plate for the Great Britain man to put the ball down under the posts.

Warrington: Ratchford, Lineham, King, Charnley, Austin, Widdop, Hill, Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Clark, Mamo. Subs: Philbin, Davis, Kibula, Ashton.

Wakefield: Jowitt, Croft, Gigot, Tupou, Senior, Miller, Hampshire, Navarrete, Wood, Arona, Batchelor, Ashurst, Westerman. Subs: Kirmond, Green, Crowther, Tanginoa.

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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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