Huddersfield Giants 14 Wakefield Trinity 18: Two-try Tom Johnstone ends Trinity's losing run
TWO-TRY Tom Johnstone struck to dramatically end Wakefield Trinity’s ten-game losing run.
The England winger - whose earlier error had gifted Huddersfield a score - got on the end of Jacob Miller’s pass after his Wakefield captain had forced a mistake out of Sam Wood in the 75th minute.
Chris Chester had warned his contracted Trinity players he could move some of them on after last week’s dismal 48-6 loss against St Helens and that led to a national newspaper report about an alleged players revolt against the head coach.
He vehemently denied that in the build-up to this game and undoubtedly those who did take to the field clearly did their utmost to finally bring that wretched run to an end.
Miller, prop Tini Arona and hooker Kyle Wood all came back into the side to at last help dig out their first win since lockdown ended at the start of August.
Trinity had taken the lead when Matty Ashurst latched onto Max Jowitt’s well-placed grubber for Ryan Hampshire to convert in the 18th minute.
But, Giants captain Aidan Sezer sliced through in response after throwing a dummy.
Huddersfield’s Wood did brilliantly to make the assist for Jordan Turner’s try in 35th minute and that gave Luke Robinson’s side a 10-6 interval lead.
Early in the second period, Trinity broke but Johnstone could not make the final pass and, similarly, Sam Wood could not finish off Lee Gaskell’s stylish break for their opponents.
But when Ryan Hampshire sailed a 40/20 attempt straight out, it led directly to a try as Sam Wood - the young, inexperienced Huddersfield winger - impressively fended off Johnstone and raced in at the corner in the 52nd minute.
However, Johnstone quickly made amends as an ill-conceived pass from Jordan Turner was picked up by Ben Jones-Bishop to put them in position and Max Jowitt produced a fine cut-out pass.
Hampshire improved to get them in touching distance and then Miller's big tackle saw Wood fumble near his own line for Johnstone to finish them off.
Huddersfield Giants: L Senior; Jake Wardle, Cudjoe, Turner, Wood; Gaskell, Sezer; English, Moore, McQueen, Edwards, Joe Wardle. Substitutes: Lawrence, Russell, Matagi, Ta’ai.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt; Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Croft, Johnstone; Miller, Hampshire; Tanginoa, Crowther, Arona, Ashurst, Batchelor, Battye. Substitutes: K Wood, Fifita, Tangata, Aydin.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths (Widnes)