Warrington boss Tony Smith described his side's display as "scrappy" as the Wolves moved to within a point of Super League leaders Huddersfield following a 26-14 win over Wakefield.
Warrington scored six tries to the Wildcats' three and the win would have been more emphatic had Stefan Ratchford not missed four conversions with Chris Bridge spurning another attempt.
The Wildcats only trailed 14-8 at half-time but their fourth defeat in a row virtually wrecks their play-off ambitions.
Joel Monaghan crossed twice for Warrington who were without skipper Adrian Morley, Ryan Atkins, Richie Myler, Lee Briers, Garreth Carvell and Mike Cooper.
Brett Hodgson, Mick Higham, Bridge and Chris Riley also went over for the Wolves while Frankie Mariano, Danny Kirmond and Liam Kay added scores for Wakefield.
Smith said: "We were a bit scrappy as was the whole affair.
"We produced glimpses of nice stuff but not enough for our liking.
"We defended pretty well and conceded an intercept and a try off a kick which we can live with.
"But we were scrappy with the ball and scrappy with some loose play.
"But I'm not jumping up and down because we had to try some new combinations."
Warrington next host Widnes on Thursday and Smith said: "Hopefully we can turn it round quickly.
"There were not too many stand-outs today and not many players punching the air with their performances.
"We weren't quite at our best but hopefully we can finish the season strong."