Wakefield Wildcats: Rampant Wildcat Tautai extinguishes Dragons’ fire

Nick Scruton
Nick Scruton
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Taulima Tautai was in destructive form as Wakefield routed Catalan 56-14 to record their first victory of the First Utility Super League season.

Taulima Tautai was in destructive form as Wakefield routed Catalan 56-14 to record their first victory of the First Utility Super League season.

The match at an unseasonably warm Rapid Solicitors Stadium was over as a contest at half-time following a powerful performance by Tautai, who scored the first two tries before laying on the next for Jon Molloy.

Reece Lyne crossed for a brace of his own and Jarrod Sammut kicked six goals to give Wakefield a 32-0 half-time lead.

Pita Godinet became the third player to grab a double in the early stages of the second half before Daniel Smith and Paul Sykes helped themselves to tries, with Elliott Whitehead and Leon Pryce replying for the visitors.

Prop Nick Scruton and winger Chris Riley made their Wildcats debuts, while Matty Wildie and Molloy featured for the first time this season from the bench.

Former Leeds full-back Brent Webb gifted the Wildcats the lead in the 13th minute, dropping Sammut’s spiralling high kick to allow Tautai to dive on the loose ball to score his first try for the club.

Tautai then had the ball stripped 10 metres from the Catalan line and Sammut stepped up to kick Wakefield into an eight-point lead.

The big Samoan continued to take centre stage as he burst through a gap before showing a good turn of pace and strength to touch down. There was no letting up from the hosts as Paul McShane put a neat kick in behind the Dragons defence which was well finished by Lyne.

Lyne was presented with his second try on the stroke of the break after Sammut chased his own towering kick before stripping the ball and putting the centre in. Successive penalties gave Wakefield good field position and Godinet ghosted through the Dragons defence to score the first try of the second half.

Godinet showed another side of his game just minutes later when he intercepted Pryce’s pass and sprinted 100 metres to go over in the corner.

Tautai thought he had his hat-trick at the end of another powerful run but was penalised for a double movement. Good handling by the Dragons laid on the opportunity for Whitehead to get their first points of the afternoon before Pryce stepped his way through to add some respectability to the scoreline.

Normal service was quickly resumed when Smith touched down McShane’s grubber kick and Sykes finished from Richard Mathers’ pass, both converted by Sammut to complete a perfect day with the boot. Whitehead coasted in for his second in the final minute but Catalan were left to reflect on a fourth straight defeat.

Wakefield: Mathers, Fox, Sykes, Lyne, Riley, Sammut, Godinet, Scruton, McShane, Tautai, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Subs: Wildie, Ryan, Molloy, Smith.

Catalan Dragons: Webb, Vaccari, Oldfield, Taia, Escare, Pryce, Barthau, Lima, Mounis, Paea, Anderson, Whitehead, Baitieri. Subs: Pelissier, Fakir, Baile, Garcia.

Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield)

Attendance: 4,190.

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