Wakefield 30 – 24 Salford

Tom Johnstone crossed twice for the hosts at Be Well Support Stadium as they held off the Red Devils to secure a fourth win in a row in all competition and move up to sixth in the Betfred Super League standings

Last Updated: 03/04/22 6:06pm

Tom Johnstone scored two tries as Wakefield defeated Salford

Tom Johnstone scored two tries as Wakefield defeated Salford

Tom Johnstone grabbed two tries as Wakefield Trinity claimed their fourth win in a row and climbed up to sixth in the Betfed Super League table after a 30-24 win over Salford Red Devils.

Fresh off knocking out Warrington Wolves in the Betfred Challenge Cup, winger Johnstone scored two first-half tries to help Trinity to an impressive 24-4 half-time lead before the Red Devils fought back with four second-half scores to almost steal the victory.

Wakefield snapped the deadlock in the eighth minute when Johnstone broke free down the wing and turned the ball inside for Jacob Miller to score easily. Max Jowitt converted the try to give Trinity an early 6-0 lead, but it lasted all of two minutes before Salford hit back.

Tim Lafai beat a tackle down the left side and his lovely offload found Rhys Williams to touch down, but Marc Sneyd was unable to add the extras, leaving Wakefield 6-4 ahead.

Trinity extended their lead through the brilliance of Johnstone. Miller sent up a bomb to his wing and Johnstone leaped high over the Red Devils’ outside backs to claim the ball and the try, which Jowitt converted to make it 12-4.

Wakefield continued to dominate proceedings, and pushed further ahead when Johnstone found space after returning the ball, beating a series of tackles, and on the next play the ball was brilliantly spun out wide quickly to Reece Lyne to touch down.

Jowitt’s third successful kick meant a comfortable 18-4 lead for the home side, who seemingly could do little wrong. Wakefield almost had a fourth try soon after, when Liam Hood burrowed over from short range, but the score was chalked off because of a double movement.

Rhys Williams goes over for try in Salford's loss at Wakefield

Rhys Williams goes over for try in Salford’s loss at Wakefield

It mattered little as in the 39th Johnstone brought up his double with a sensational solo try, cutting inside to beat five defenders on his way to the line. Jowitt added the extras from nearly right in front to make it 24-4 at half-time and put Trinity in the driving seat.

In the second half Salford needed to score first, and they started brightly when Ryan Lannon and then Sam Luckley were both held up over the try-line.

The Red Devils were getting closer and in the next set Deon Cross gave them hope when he touched down off Ryan Brierley’s pass, with Sneyd converting to make it 24-10. Sitaleki Akauola managed to barge over soon after, but the ball was stripped when he was trying to ground it.

In the next set the Red Devils finally got their reward when they shifted the ball right and Ken Sio cut inside to cross. Sneyd’s kick from out wide missed, leaving Trinity still 24-14 ahead.

Jay Pitts' try sealed the win for Wakefield

Jay Pitts’ try sealed the win for Wakefield

With 18 minutes left Williams scored his second of the afternoon when he grabbed a try off a short drop-out, which Sneyd was unable to convert, and putting more heat on Trinity.

However, Jay Pitts touched down late to ease the pressure and then Sio scored right on full-time as Wakefield held on for victory.

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