Willie Poching´s Wakefield Trinity were looking for their second win of the season to give themselves some breathing space to the bottom of the table but there are usually fewer more daunting tasks in Super League than having to travel to the Halliwell Jones Stadium to take on Daryl Powell´s Warrington Wolves.
Both sides were missing a number of regular first teamers, the Wolves would be without Greg Minikin, Matt Davis and Josh Charnley while the visitors were missing Bill Tupou, Thomas Minns, Max Jowitt and Tom Lineham.
The bookies believed that there would be only one winner and Wakefield were given a fourteen-point start on the handicap coupon, the Wolves expected to take the points and move into fifth spot in the table.
It was the most sensational of starts for Warrington when Matty Ashton broke the Wakefield line on his own forty and sprinted sixty metres to dive over close to the left upright. Stefan Ratchford added the conversion and within three minutes the home side were 6-0 ahead.
Wakefield doubled down and after some great pressure Liam Hood took a late offload from Tinirau Arona and jinked past the Warrington defence before stretching for the line and grounding one-handed. Mason Lino added the conversion to level the scores on twelve minutes.
On seventeen the Wolves were back in front after a delightful grubber kick through from George Williams was collected in goal and grounded by Toby King and when Ratchford added the conversion it was 12-6 in an end-to-end encounter.
Wakefield were back level again on twenty-three as Jordan Crowther hit a Gareth Widdop pass at speed and crashed over the line. Lino added the conversion from close into the sticks for 12-12, Warrington knowing that their visitors were going to put up a fight.
Trinity were in the front with their own sensational try when Matty Ashurst offloaded Johnstone who came inside and held the ball in the tackle before a one-handed pass to Corey Hall in space to complete from ten metres out. Lino added the conversion, in off the near post for an 18-12 lead with seven minutes of the first half remaining.
With a minute remaining to the interval the Wolves again levelled the scores with Danny Walker on hand to take a return ball in a one-two with Ratchford to go in under the sticks. Ratchford added the conversion for 18-18 at the interval of an enthralling game.
The see-sawing game saw Trinity back into the lead on forty-seven with Ashurst hitting a delightful Miller pass to go in on the angle from ten metres out. Lino smashed his conversion through the uprights for a six-point lead. Ratchford was a casualty of the try as he fell awkwardly in the tackle and was taken from the field for treatment.
In a game of great tries Josh Thewis added to the collection on sixty-one when he hugged the right touchline and dived to score one-handed by the corner flag. Gareth Widdop, with Ratchford off the field, hit the post with the conversion attempt, the home side still two points adrift.
A Lino solo effort, off a Miller pass, saw the Wakefield stand-off mesmerise the Warrington defence after shrugging off a Widdop tackle and splitting the last two defenders to dive over. He converted his own for an eight-point lead with eleven minutes remaining.
On seventy minutes Michael Cooper knocked on in the act of grounding for what would have given the Wolves renewed hope.
A penalty for a late hit from Jack Hughes, five from his own line, gifted Lino his sixth goal of the afternoon to extend the lead to ten points.
The win was in the bag for Wakefield when Morgan Escare took a Miller pass and went through the line from twenty metres out to score under the sticks without a Warrington defender troubling him. Lino kicked the extras for a sensational 38-22.
This was a fantastic win for Wakefield, against the odds, which lifts them up the table while causing a further headache for Daryl Powell. Standout player was Mason Lino but it was a consistent team performance with few mistakes from the visitors who took every opportunity offered to them.
The two sides meet again next weekend, at the same venue, for a Challenge Cup match and it will be Wakefield who go into the game full of confidence while Warrington will spend a nervous week looking for ways that they can improve and make cup progress.
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford (3G), Thewlis (T), Mata´utia, King (T), Ashton (T), Widdop, Williams, Hughes, Walker (T), Cooper, Currie, Holmes, Davis. Subs: Philbin, Clark J, Longstaff, Butler.
Wakefield Trinity: Escare (T), Johnstone, Hall (T), Lyne, Kay, Lino (T, 7G), Miller, Arona, Hood (T), Fifita, Ashurst (T), Pitts, Crowther (T). Subs: Whitbread, Battye, Batchelor, Tanginoa.
Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 6-4, 6-6, 10-6, 12-6, 12-10, 12-12, 12-16, 12-18, 16-18, 18-18 : HT : 18-22, 18-24, 22-24, 22-28, 22-30, 22-32, 22-36, 22-38 : FT.
Referee: Rob Hicks.