Wakefield Trinity 6 Hull FC 26: Buoyant Black and Whites push hosts closer to Championship

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Only a few short weeks ago, Hull FC were viewed as Wakefield Trinity's main relegation rivals.

There was talk of an early four-pointer at Belle Vue, a long-range prediction that looks foolish after the much-improved Black and Whites made light work of Mark Applegarth's basement side.

Hull have endured plenty of pain in the early days under Tony Smith but their seven-game losing run is starting to become a distant memory following a third straight win that leaves them two points adrift of the play-off positions.

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If the penny has dropped for Smith's side, Wakefield are still scrambling on the floor looking for change.

Applegarth's wait for a first win as a head coach goes on after a 12th consecutive defeat which pushes Trinity closer to the Championship.

It was a game Wakefield had to win but they struggled to land a telling blow on Hull until it was too late.

Matty Ashurst's try in the closing stages did at least spare Trinity the ignominy of a sixth nilling of the year.

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Applegarth resisted the temptation to hand Luke Gale his debut against his former club after a promising performance at Warrington Wolves but it was the same old story for a side that have now scored just 77 points in 12 games.

Adam Swift dives over to score in the corner. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)Adam Swift dives over to score in the corner. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Adam Swift dives over to score in the corner. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

The warning signs were there for Wakefield early on against a team that have found the confidence they have been craving all year.

Jake Clifford – fresh from a man of the match display in last week's win over Wigan Warriors – was hauled down just short of the line before Trinity full-back Will Dagger stopped Adam Swift in his tracks with a brilliant try-saving tackle.

Wakefield got their first look at the Hull line after Morgan Smith's charged-down kick rebounded back into his arms but they failed to test the visitors.

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It was a sleepy start played out in front of a subdued crowd with the home supporters perhaps fearing the worst.

Luke Gale's wait for his Wakefield Trinity debut goes on. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)Luke Gale's wait for his Wakefield Trinity debut goes on. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Luke Gale's wait for his Wakefield Trinity debut goes on. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

The Belle Vue faithful have had little to cheer about this season after seeing their side score just 30 points in the first four home games, 24 of which came in round one.

They could have been forgiven for letting out a collective sigh when Hull opened the scoring after 18 minutes.

Lee Gaskell conceded a series of penalties to put his side under pressure and his indiscipline was duly punished.

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Swift – back in the side after sitting out the game against Wigan – took a bullet pass from Clifford and produced a flying finish to make it five tries for the season.

Tom Lineham is dumped by Danny Houghton. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)Tom Lineham is dumped by Danny Houghton. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Tom Lineham is dumped by Danny Houghton. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

Wakefield did not allow their heads to drop and turned the screw on the back of a sloppy forward pass by Liam Sutcliffe but lacked the conviction to turn the pressure into points.

To their credit, Hull dug deep to snuff out any hint of danger, Mason Lino going closest when he dummied and went himself near the line after Gaskell forced a repeat set.

Trinity came again before half-time, Lino dragged down just short before Smith earned his team a drop-out with a neat kick into the in-goal area.

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To continue the theme of Wakefield's season, the chance was gone when Lino knocked on in the next set.

Dagger kicked out on the full looking for a 40/20 as the desperate hosts tried without success to take something into half-time with them.

Trinity needed to score next given the paucity of points this season but Hull moved through the gears to end the home side's hopes of a first win.

Carlos Tuimavave coasted over after Wakefield failed to recover from Brad Dwyer's sparkling break and Clifford added his second conversion to put the Black and Whites out of sight.

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Trinity had a full set on the Hull line after Davy Litten dropped Lino's high kick but Kelepi Tanginoa summed up the panic in the home ranks when he gifted the ball back to the visitors with an ill-advised offload.

Clifford nudged Hull further ahead from a penalty on the hour mark and Sutcliffe officially put the game to bed when he came back on the angle to race over.

Cries of "you're not fit to wear the shirt" could be heard as the Wakefield players gathered behind the posts in ignominious fashion.

The mood of the fans improved ever so slightly when Ashurst crashed over for a consolation try but Scott Taylor put the seal on a comprehensive win for Hull with a powerful effort two minutes from time.

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Wakefield Trinity: Dagger, Taufua, Langi, Gaskell, Lineham, Smith, Lino, Whitbread, Bowes, Proctor, Ashurst, Tanginoa, Pitts. Substitutes: Hood, Battye, Bowden, Eseh.

Hull FC: Litten, Swift, Sutcliffe, Tuimavave, Scott, Trueman, Clifford, Taylor, Houghton, Sao, Griffin, Lane, Lovodua. Substitutes: McIntosh, Satae, Brown, Dwyer.

Referee: Jack Smith.

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