Wildcats move into play-off spots

PA Sport
Richard Mathers was one of four Wakefield try scorers in their victory

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Richard Mathers was one of four Wakefield try scorers in their victory

Wakefield captain Danny Kirmond was the hero as the in-form Wildcats secured a 22-18 victory over Windes, their sixth successive win, to climb into the Super League play-offs for the first time this season.

The Wildcats trailed for most of the match against a fired-up Widnes team, who scored through Paddy Flynn's try and crossed twice through Rhys Hanbury, seeking back-to-back wins for the first time in their efforts to avoid the wooden spoon, but Kirmond ended their resistance with a long-range try five minutes from the end.

Kyle Amor, Richie Mathers, Ali Lauitiiti were Wakefield's other try scorers as they moved above Bradford into eighth place with one match left of the regular season.

Wakefield, who go to Salford in their last match next Saturday, probably produced their worst performance of their recent run but it was enough to complete the double over the plucky Vikings, who led 10-6 at the break thanks to two long-range tries from scrum-half Hanbury.

He went over for his first try six minutes into the game and scored again a minute from half-time, juggling with the ball from Frank Winterstein's pass and re-gathering his own kick. In between, prop Amor touched down for the Wildcats, taking Tim Smith's short pass to dive over in spectacular fashion, and Paul Sykes' goal levelled the scores.

Wakefield needed a run of three penalties to get them within striking distance of the Widnes line and full-back Mathers took advantage to plunge over for his side's second try on 51 minutes.

Widnes second rower Dave Allen then cut-out a pass to give winger Paddy Flynn a clear run to the line. Replacement hooker Paul McShane restored the Vikings' six-point lead with the touchline conversion but that merely stung Wakefield into action as they produced their best rugby of the match.

Smith got second rower Frankie Mariano charging through a gap in the Widnes defence and the impressive Lauitiiti was on his inside to take the final pass. Sykes' goal levelled the scores and he put his side in front for the first time on 67 minutes with a penalty.

Flynn got back to halt Wakefield substitute Kyle Wood, who supported a break out of defence by winger Peter Fox, but the illegal tackle earned him a spell in the sin bin.

Wakefield's lead lasted only five minutes, with Hanbury tieing the scores for fourth time with a 40-metre penalty, but they went back in front almost immediately with another long-range try. Kyle Wood took Smith's pass to break through the first line of defence and his long pass enabled Kirmond to cross wide out for his side's fourth try.

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