A SERIOUS injury suffered by winger Richard Owen took the gloss off Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ win over Bradford Bulls, for coach Brian Smith.
Owen was hurt in the second half of Wildcats’ 48-18 success at Belle Vue in the First Utility Qualifiers.
He was given oxygen on the pitch and treated by medical staff from both clubs before being stretchered from the field.
It was only Owen’s second game back in the side after voluntarily entering a rehabilitation program with the Sporting Chance clinic.
The win over Bradford was Smith’s second in charge of Wakefield, but he was in no mood to celebrate afterwards.
He said: “I am a bit sombre about it because of that. If there are footy gods, they lack compassion. He has had a lot to handle, that lad.
“It appears he has got a double fracture of his lower leg. That means he’s had double fracture of either leg.”
Owen suffered a bad break to his other leg five years ago, playing for Castleford Tigers against Bradford.
“He is quite an infectious personality,” Smith added. “He’s a fun guy to be around. He has had some battles and there’ll be a heap of people who’ll want to help him in this one. He’ll get back.”
Of Wildcats’ performance, Smith said: “I thought we were extremely dominant early and a bit patchy after that, but certainly good enough to win the game.
“Our forwards did a very good job and laid the platform, which was a bit of old-school footy, I guess. Bradford couldn’t cope and for certain periods we were all over them like a rash.”
Smith refused to get away with the result, which keeps Wildcats well in the fight to avoid relegation to the Kingstone Press Championship.
“They are all important,” he stressed. “There is an extra importance on some games, but our guys are trying to develop some pride and respect.
“We certainly put our foot forward in the right direction and now we need to to that again on Saturday against another dangerous team in Leigh.
“We’ve got a bit of confidence out of this, but we’ve got way more to do yet.”