Wakefield Wildcats: Youthful Trinity show spirit in defeat

Danny Kirmond's try.
Danny Kirmond's try.
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A 46-24 DRUBBING at Wigan Warriors left Wakefield Trinity Wildcats still without a point in First Utility Super League – but not completely lacking hope.

A 46-24 DRUBBING at Wigan Warriors left Wakefield Trinity Wildcats still without a point in First Utility Super League – but not completely lacking hope.

Wakefield, particularly in defence, were woeful at times, but there were patches when they weren’t and they had a couple of decent individual performances, amid much effort.

Missing late withdrawal Andy Raleigh (hamstring), the visitors had no effective prop rotation and Lucas Walshaw – until recently a centre – started alongside rookie Daniel Smith, who put in a big stint.

Wakefield were without weekend signing Nick Scruton, who will beef up the front-row when he makes his debut in Sunday’s four-pointer at home to Catalan Dragons.

This was more valuable game time for Wildcats’ recent arrivals and two of them, Pita Godinet and Jarrod Sammut, showed flashes of genuine class.

For much of the time it was a case of them defending – or not –against wave after wave of Wigan pressure and the hosts were able to feed off frequent penalties and errors.

But when they did carve out attacking opportunities, Wakefield caused Wigan some problems.

They led after 15 minutes though warhorse Ali Lauitiiti, who crashed over off a short pass by Sammut, who kicked the first of his four conversions.

Then on 36 the visitors saved face with a second touchdown, following what appeared to be a spectacular attacking fiasco.

Sammut snapped up a loose ball and got to within a metre of Wigan’s line before being pulled down by Liam Farrell.

With the defence out of the picture, Paul McShane kicked to the Wakefield’s right, but neither Paul Sykes nor Peter Fox could pick up and the ball was scrambled dead.

Head in hands stuff, but Wildcats redeemed themselves from the drop out – aided by a penalty for offside, when Godinet’s pass was carried over the line by Danny Kirmond.

Five minutes into the second half Godinet intercepted Blake Green’s pass close to Wildcats’ line and did brilliantly to hold off the defence before Fox raced up in support to score, making it 30-18.

They couldn’t kick on, but did add a final try came with seven left when Sammut stole the ball and gave it to Reece Lyne, who was too quick for the cover in a 90-metre foot race.

Before all that, Dom Manfredi went over to give Wigan the lead after six minutes and then Iain Thornley, Sean O’Loughlin twice, Ryan Hampshire and John Bateman touched down and Matty Smith converted three times before half-time.

In the second period Ben Flower, a superb effort from Joe Burgess and – with Richard Mathers in the sin-bin for a professional foul – Farrell completed Wigan’s try tally and Smith finished with five goals.

Back-rower Jordan Crowther, 17 years and 11 days, came off the bench after 54 minutes to become Wakefield’s sixth youngest debutant and the club’s youngest-ever forward.

Wigan Warriors: Hampshire, Burgess, Gelling, Thornley, Manfredi, Green, M Smith, Flower, McIlorum, Taylor, Farrell, Bateman, O’Loughlin. Subs (all used) Tomkins, Crosby, Burke, Clubb.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Sykes, Briscoe, Lyne, Sammut, Godinet, Walshaw, McShane, D Smith, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Trout. Subs (all used) Washbrook, Tautai, Ryan, Crowther.

Referee: Matt Thomason (Warrington).

Attendance: 11,703.

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