31 Mar 2019
Wakefield defeat Salford
Wakefield Trinity held off a spirited fightback from Salford Red Devils 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.
Fifita and Niall Evalds traded early tries but Ryan Hampshire and Reece Lyne crossed to give Trinity an 18-6 lead. Kris Welham hit back but it was 24-10 at half-time as Pauli powered over.
Jacob Miller extended the lead still further and though Derrell Olpherts and Jackson Hastings scored for Salford, Danny Brough added a penalty and a drop goal to his five conversions to see the game out.
"It was a real gritty performance," Chester said. "It's pleasing to get a result against a real good Salford side.
"They are a similar side to us, they never go away, and I think in the last last two years only two points have split the result.
"We completed at about 90 per cent in the first half and scored some pretty good tries.
"We knew they were going to come back. They are a good attacking side and caused us a lot of problems in the second half."
Wakefield welcomed back three-quarter Bill Tupou from a knee problem but Chester says he he sustained a groin injury which makes him doubtful for Friday's home game against Huddersfield.
Salford coach Ian Watson admitted his side's disappointing first-half display had left them with too much to do.
"We were not good enough first half," Watson said. "Wakefield were completing at 100 per cent at one stage and we were down at 50 and you can't afford to give up that much ball.
"We were compounding that with penalties and it gave us a bit of a mountain to climb.
"We keep showing we can compete but we need to start with that same mentality. Our attack is not an issue, it's a defensive mentality. You can't keep making yourselves defend."