Match report: Crusaders v Wakefield Wildcats

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Crusaders scored four second-half tries as they came from behind to draw closer to Wakefield at the foot of the Engage Super League table.

Wakefield jumped into an early 10-0 lead thanks to a pair of Dale Morton tries and while it took Crusaders until the second half to reply they eventually clinched a win to move them four points behind the Wildcats.

Michael Witt and Vince Mellars scored the home side’s opening two tries to draw them level before Ryan O’Hara and Rhys Hanbury both went over in the final five minutes to ensure their success.

However, it was Wakefield who got off to a flyer.

Right wing Morton grabbed the opening try on nine minutes only seconds after stand-off Kieran Hyde had intercepted a pass on halfway but, with the line beckoning, he tripped over his own feet and fell to the ground 20 yards from the line.

It was turning into another of those disastrous Crusaders’ openings when a kick to the home right corner was mishandled by full-back Clinton Schifcofske for Morton to grab and go over again.

The home side, despite some handling errors that gave possession away, clawed their way back into the game as Wakefield’s intensity drifted away.

Four minutes into the second half Witt got his try when ex-Leeds wing Jordan Tansey dashed through the middle and put the stand-off away from 20 yards to score under the posts.

Schifcofske’s goal then cut the deficit to four points and the game was swinging the Crusaders’ way.

It swung further when centre Mellars scored an unconverted try in the left corner which levelled the scores at 10-10.

Wakefield nearly scored down the other end, though, when Aaron Murphy had a try ruled out for a forward pass, while Hyde nearly went over under the posts only to be stopped by some last-gasp defence.

Witt put the Crusaders in front for the first time on 68 minutes when he dropped a goal from 20 yards to get the crowd roaring and then the late tries by O’Hara and Hanbury, both converted by Schifcofske, in the dying stages decided the contest.

Crusaders: Schifcofske, Reardon, Thomas, Mellars, Kear, Witt, Hanbury, Bryant, White, Moore, Cahill, Winternstein, Lupton. Subs: Tansey, Sammut, Flower, O’Hara.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Blaymire, Griffin, Dean, Murphy, Morton, Hyde, Lee, P. Johnson, Rinaldi, Amor, Morrison, Mariano, Howarth. Subss: King, Henderson, Higgins, Smith.

Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).


Wakefield Trinity try-scorer Ben Jones-Bishop.

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