Wakefield Trinity Wildcats gained one of the shock results of the Super League season tonight at Belle Vue, coming back from a 0-16 deficit after 18 minutes with 26 points without reply to run out 26-16 winners against Hull FC, their first win under new coach Brian Smith.
With Kevin Locke making his Wakefield debut at fullback with a superb contribution, and Australian recruit Michael Sio making his debut off the bench, the Wildcats showed a spirit and commitment that had been sorely lacking from many of their games this season, while Hull’s defeat means they remain outside the top eight with just four games remaining until the leagues splits into three groups of eight.
And yet early on it looked like being a stroll for the Airlie Birds, who were again missing the suspended Marc Sneyd.
They opened the scoring in the second minute, when Kirk Yeaman strolled over down the left, with Jordan Rankin converting.
And they were in again five minutes later when Liam Watts was too strong for the Wakefield defenders, and Rankin’s conversion doubled the lead.
A brilliant tackle from Locke denied Jamie Shaul a certain try, but Hull were over the line almost immediately for their third try, this time from Rankin, although he couldn’t convert his own try.
Hull forced a goal-line drop-out shortly after Setaimata Sa was held up over the line in a tackle by Paul McShane.
Wakefield got off the mark six minutes before the break, when former Hull halfback Jacob Miller showed great footwork to touch down by the posts, while he converted his own try.
The Wildcats closed the gap further when Locke gave a great pass to Richard Owen, who dived over to score, with Miller’s goal reducing the deficit to four points.
And it was all square after 54 minutes, when Joe Arundel went over after Locke had created the position with a break from deep within his own half. This time Miller couldn’t convert.
And when they were awarded a penalty on 59 minutes, Miller’s goal gave the lead to the Wildcats. And when they received another penalty some neat play from Pita Godinet created the position for Matt Ryan to score, and Miller’s goal gave Wakefield an eight point lead with ten minutes to go.
And when Miller converted a final penalty almost on the hooter it confirmed that Wakefield had ended their 16-match Super League losing streak.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 26 Hull FC 16
Wildcats: T – Miller (34), Owen (45), Arundel (54), Ryan (70); G – Miller 5/6
Hull: T – Yeaman (2) Watts (7) Rankin (18); G – Rankin 2/3
Half-time 6-16 Attendance 3,543