Wakefield Trinity 48 Hull KR 18 - Trinity turn on style to notch second win on the spin
Three days after toughing out an 18-14 victory over Huddersfield Giants to end a 10-game losing run, Trinity played with impressive flair as they demolished Hull KR 48-18 at Mobile Rocket Stadium, Belle Vue.
At times during a seven-month wait to get back in the winner’s circle, Wakefield looked a poor side, playing as a bunch of dispirited individuals rather than a team.
In this battle of the bottom two they showed what they can do when they operate as a unit, as well as boosting their hopes of avoiding the wooden spoon.
Right-centre Reece Lyne was the star of the show, scoring a brace and providing the final pass for two of his winger Ben Jones-Bishop’s hat-trick.
Wakefield played some outstanding rugby in the first half as they raced into a 26-0 lead.
Rovers hit back in the second half, cutting the gap to 12 points with 19 minutes left, but Wakefield kept their nerve and three late tries rubber-stamped their dominance.
Trinity included 14 players from the team which beat Huddersfield, but a significant change was Tony Gigot’s return at scrum-half, in place of injured captain Jacob Miller.
Gigot made a rapid impact, scoring the opening try after 13 minutes when he broke the line and played a one-two with Matty Ashurst before darting between the posts.
Both those players were injured later in the game, which is a concern for Wakefield ahead of Thursday’s derby against Leeds Rhinos.
Trinity scored a high-quality try in the next set, involving eight passes from inside their own half.
It looked like Tom Johnstone would dash clear, he was shut down, but Wakefield kept the ball alive, Lyne took it, ran across the field, stepped into space and then cut between the last two defenders to score at the corner for an outstanding touchdown.
Lyne scored another just seven minutes later, slicing through the defence again, from a pass by the impressive Max Jowitt, moments after Dave Fifita had almost blasted over the line.
Gigot’s departure soon afterwards didn’t break Waklefield’s momentum and they added two more tries before the break, both through Ben Jones-Bishop, the second of those another absolute stormer.
Rovers’ left-side defence was all at sea under heavy pressure - though they were an attacking threat after the interval - and Jowitt was the latest to exploit that with a lovely cut-out pass which enabled the winger to coast over at the corner after 31 minutes.
Then, in the final minute of the half, Johnnstone intercepted Jamie Ellis’ pass near Wakefield’s line, ran across to the other flank where Lyne kept up the charge and Jones-Bishop was in support to cross again.
Keeping a clean sheet would have been Trinity’s target at that stage, but Rovers broke their duck six minutes into the second period.
That was also a good try, Jordan Abdull finding Ben Crooks with a looping pass and then making a nice catch when the ball was returned.
Rovers were eyeing a comeback, but Trinity replied quickly when Jones-Bishop completed his hat-trick off good work by Lyne. Ellis touched down from his own kick , which deflected off a defender before Crooks dived over at the corner for a spectacular score.
Ellis converted all three and at 30-18 the game was in the balance, but Adam Tangata strolled over for a scrappy try and Trinity finished in style.
With five minutes left Kelepi Tanginoa could have scored off good work by Kyle Wood, but instead gave the try to Ryan Hampshire and then Eddie Battye went between the posts for Wakefield’s ninth try and Hampshire’s sixth conversion completed the scoring.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone, Hampshire, Gigot, Fifita, Crowther, Arona, Ashurst, Batchelor, B Walker. Subs K Wood, Tangata, Battye, Tanginoa.
Hull KR: Tate, Crooks, Kenny-Dowall, Livett, Dagger, Abdull, Ellis, Murray, Minchella, King, Gee, Peteru, Mulhern. Subs Hadley, Trout, Lewis, Maher.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas (Leigh).