Warrington cruise past depleted Wakefield to reach Challenge Cup final
Warrington ran riot in a one-sided Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final to secure a return to Wembley.
The Wolves had nine different try-scorers in their 56-12 rout of a depleted Wakefield in front of a 10,358 crowd at Leigh Sports Village as they set up a final showdown with Hull on August 27.
Centre Toby King, who celebrated his 20th birthday earlier this month, grabbed two tries and Australian stand-off Kurt Gidley contributed 18 points with a try and seven goals as Warrington cruised to a 17th final appearance, their first against Hull for 102 years.
Warrington, who were 6-0 winners over Hull at Halifax in 1914, had lost three successive semi-finals since lifting the trophy for the third time in four years and they had a few uncomfortable moments early on before running away with the game.
Wakefield coach Chris Chester guided unfancied Hull KR to Wembley in 2015 and there was an early hint he might be able to repeat the feat when winger Craig Hall gratefully accepted Jacob Miller\'s cut-out pass to touch down at the corner for the game\'s first try, which was converted by Liam Finn.
But the absence of eight senior players through injury took its toll as the Wildcats very quickly ran out of steam and the game was effectively over as a contest at half-time, when they trailed 24-6.
Warrington\'s half-backs initially had trouble coping with the short in-goal area but they gradually built pressure and, once second rower Jack Hughes crashed through the Wakefield defence on 15 minutes, taking three defenders over the line with him, the outcome quickly became obvious.
Gidley added the conversion and put his side into the lead with a penalty as the Wildcats began to wilt.
Livewire hooker Daryl Clark went through a hole in the Wakefield defence for Warrington\'s second try on 23 minutes and winger Rhys Evans collected Hughes\' long pass to follow him over the line four minutes later.
Wakefield created a clear-cut opportunity when second rower Jason Walton broke clear with men in support but failed to finish it off and it looked at the time like their last chance to get back in the game.
Gidley punished a handling error 20 metres out out from the Wakefield line to go over for a fourth Warrington try on the stroke of half-time and added the goal to make it 24-6.
And any prospect of a fightback disappeared within six minutes of the restart when Chris Sandow took a return pass from centre Ryan Atkins to cross for the Wolves\' fifth try.
Atkins then freed winger Matty Russell with a slick pass and full-back Stefan Ratchford was in support to add to his side\'s try tally.
Wakefield had prop David Fifita sin-binned on 50 minutes for a high tackle on Sandow and they conceded two more tries while down to 12 men.
Russell went 70 metres after intercepting Anthony Tupou\'s pass to create the position for second rower Ben Currie to go over, and King won the race to Brad Dwyer\'s kick on the last tackle to notch his first try.
Veteran forward Ben Westwood crashed through a tiring defence to take Warrington\'s total to the half-century and, although full-back Max Jowitt pulled a try back for Wakefield on 67 minutes, the Wolves had the final say when King went over for his second try.