FREE BLOOD pressure checks were being offered to fans at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ home game against St Helens yesterday – and results after the match would have been very different to those before it.
Wakefield went into the game in optimistic mood after successive 50-point wins and were sitting pretty when leading 16-4 early in the second half.
But then referee Tim Roby awarded the visitors six successive penalties – to the fury of the Wakefield supporters – and they took full advantage to score four tries in 14 minutes, transforming a 12-point deficit into a 24-16 winning scoreline.
For Wildcats it was one that got away after a strong opening 42 minutes, but depleted Saints – who were led by Paul Wellens and Jon Wilkin in the halves – showed terrific heart to snatch two points which preserved their 100 per cent record and lifted them back into top spot in the table.
Wildcats themselves had scored three tries in 12 minutes either side of half-time to open a 12-point lead, after being 4-0 behind.
Jimmy Keinhorst (forward pass) and Nick Scruton (held up) got over the line without reward before Josh Jones shrugged off Reece Lyne to score the opening try for Saints with 23 minutes on the clock.
The hosts were level after 30 when Paul McShane and Matt Ryan – who came off the bench to replace Keinhorst after just 13 minutes – carved out a close-range try for captain Danny Kirmond.
Then four minutes before the interval Jarrod Sammut snapped up a loose pass from James Roby close to Wakefield’s line, made it into Saints’ half and fed the supporting Lyne, who took the well timed pass and held off the defence on a sprint to the line, Sammut converting.
Straight after the interval, Wakefield then struck again when McShane threw a huge dummy at acting-half on the last tackle and dived over from close range for his first Wildcats try, with Sammut’s conversion making it 16-4.
That was as good as it got for the hosts as the flurry of penalties against them meant they struggled to get hold of the ball and Saints made their wealth of possession count.
Sia Soliola crossed from Wellens’ pass in front of the posts, then debutant Matt Dawson just got the ball down before it went dead following on from Wellens’ chip.
Joe Greenwood – who only came into the side when Lance Hohaia pulled out during the warm-up – was put through a huge gap by Wilkin and then Wilkin’s kick was acrobatically taken by Makinson to touch down at the corner.
The winger added the extras to two of the tries and Saints led 24-16 with 21 to go.
There was no more scoring in the game, but Ali Lauitiiti and Saints’ ex-Wildcat Kyle Amor were placed on report.
That was following big hits on Jonny Lomax and Ryan.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Keinhorst, Lyne, Riley, Sammut, Godinet, Anderson, McShane, Scruton, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Tautai. Subs (all used) Raleigh, Ryan, Smith, Siejka.
London Broncos: Lomax, Makinson, Jones, Dawson, Swift, Wellens, Wilkin, Amor, Roby, Laffranchi, Manu, Flanagan, Walker. Subs (all used) Soliola, Richards, Greenwood, Masoe.
Referee: Tim Roby (Preston).