Wakefield Trinity 26 Toulouse Olympique 38: Trinity in Super League relegation danger after Magic Weekend collapse
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From 20-4 ahead at the interval in the battle of Betfred Super League’s bottom two, Trinity slumped to a 38-26 defeat which leaves their top-flight status in serious peril.
With nine games to play, Wakefield are now only two points clear of the French side.
Their defeat was largely self-inflicted, five of Toulouse’s seven tries being scored against 12 men.
David Fifita grabbed Trinity’s third touchdown, but was then sin-binned a couple of seconds before the interval for trying to run down the clock after conceding a six-again.
By the time he returned, Wakefield were behind, having conceded three converted tries in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.
After a very solid, if utterly unspectacular, opening period, Trinity imploded following the sin-binning, with a knock-on, three six-agains and a penalty while Fifita was off the field.
And no sooner had he returned than fellow substitute prop Rob Butler replaced him on the naughty step, for a dangerous tackle and Wakefield conceded two more, as they continued to give away repeat sets and penalties.
From 16 points ahead, Trinity were 12 behind with a quarter of the game remaining and they never looked like pulling that back.
It had all begun so well for Wakefield, who scored two converted tries in the opening 11 minutes. Hooker Liam Hood opened the scoring with a dart from acting-half, then Jacob Miller’s kick on the last was deflected into his own in-goal by Tony Gigot and Matty Ashurst touched down.
Wakefield missed a chance to go further in front, following Miller’s 40-20 kick on 21 minutes. Brad Walker, at half-back in place of calf injury victim Mason Lino, jinked over the line from Hood’s pass, but lost the ball.
Video official James Child confirmed referee Robert Hicks’ official call of ‘no try’ and the French side were back in the game almost immediately. Trinity were caught offside close to their line and in the set from the penalty, Joe Bretherton ran a nice line on to a short pass from Chris Hankinson, who couldn’t tag on the two.
Jowitt replied with a penalty goal and five minutes before the break, Wakefield grabbed their third try when Fifita stormed over from Miller’s pass.
Toulouse got off to a flying start in the second half as Laurent Belmas went over for a soft try from close range; then Matty Russell crossed before Nathan Peats got the ball down from acting-half.
Hankinson converted all three and suddenly, Toulouse were ahead.
After Butler’s yellow card, Latrell Schaumkel dived over following an apparent knock-on by teammate Guy Armitage.
Referee Hicks passed the decision on as ‘no try’, but video official Child decided Miller had knocked the ball out, so the score was awarded and Hankinson goaled from the touchline.
Then Lewis Murphy’s knock-on gave Toulouse a scrum in good field position and they scored their sixth - this time unconverted - try direct from that, through Russell.
Wakefield pulled a try back in the final minute through Kelepi Tanginoa, which Jowitt improved. Toulouse kicked-off with six seconds left, Wakefield moved the ball left almost on their line and Armitage intercepted a hail Mary pass from Hood to go over as the hooter sounded, Hankinson adding the extras.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Evans, Croft, Hall, Murphy, Miller, Walker, Arona, Wood, Whitbread, Pitts, Ashurst, Batchelor. Subs Fifita, Butler, Crowther, Tanginoa.
Toulouse Olympique: Ashall-Bott, Schaumkel, Armitage, Hankinson, Russell, Norman, Gigot, Navarrete, Peats, Alvaro, Bretherton, Peyroux, Paulo. Subs Albert, Hansen, Sangare, Belmas.
Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).