HALF-BACK Danny Brough tormented his former club as Wakefield Trinity completed their pre-season campaign with a 28-24 victory over visitors Huddersfield Giants last night.
Brough was involved in all four of Trinity’s tries before being given a breather after 55 minutes.
It was a scrappy game in which referee James Child issued four team warnings – three of them to Giants – and sin-binned two visiting players.
The final penalty count was 11-11 with Giants receiving the last four.
Trinity scored six tries to Giants’ four and their victory would have been more convincing if Ryan Hampshire had managed more than one conversion from five attempts.
Wakefield coach Chris Chester felt it was a “big improvement” from the recent game against Hull. He reflected: “Defensively in the second half we looked a hard team to break down.
“We looked good and Tinirau Arona, Anthony England and Jordan Crowther really raised the tempo when they came on.
“Broughy’s kicking game was excellent and I was really pleased with his contribution.
“It was disappointing that every time we scored we seemed to come up with an error or gave a penalty, but overall we’ve got to be really pleased with the performance.”
Trinity received three penalties in the first six minutes which led to Giants being placed on their first warning.
The fourth penalty followed three minutes later and Jordan Turner was sin-binned for his side’s persistent offending.
Trinity took a while to make their extra man count, though Tom Johnstone got over Giants’ line only for Brough’s pass to be ruled forward. Child issued the visitors with their second team warning after 16 minutes – when they had conceded six penalties to Trinity’s two – and Wakefield broke the deadlock in the resulting set.
Turner was waiting to come back on when Wakefield kept the ball alive on the final tackle and Craig Kopczak nipped between the posts for a try which Hampshire converted. Trinity were penalised for an incorrect play-the-ball after the restart, marched 10 metres for dissent and placed on a team warning – and Jermaine McGillvary crossed in the next set, Lee Gaskell levelling with the first of his four successful kicks.
At that stage the penalty count was six-three in favour of Wakefield, plus the extra ground for backchat. Trinity went back in front on 29 minutes through Dream Team centre Bill Tupou who pounced after Giants’ defence had been unable to deal with a high cross kick from Brough.
Again, Wakefield lost concentration after scoring and Louis Senior forced his way over.
Reece Lyne had been due to start in the right-centre for Wakefield, but was withdrawn after the teamsheets had been printed, due to illness. Joe Arundel stepped up from the bench and scored the try which gave Wakefield a 14-12 half-time lead after Brough had again caught out the defence.
Giants received their third team warning nine minutes into the second half – after conceding three of the first four penalties following the break.
Their second yellow followed three minutes later, Joe Wardle being banished this time.
Trinity extended their lead almost immediately when Johnstone leaped to take another Brough cross kick. Again they conceded soon afterwards to Alex Mellor and the conversion made it 18-18, but Max Jowitt’s outstanding pass sent Ben Jones-Bishop over for a 64th minute try which Ben Reynolds goaled from the touchline and Johnstone dived over from Hampshire’s pass.
Mellor crossed for Giants on the final play of the game.
Trinity were without forward Pauli Pauli who suffered a leg injury in the pre-season game at Newcastle. Craig Huby was not risked due to a knee problem.
Wakefield Trinity: Hampshire, Jones-Bishop, Arundel, Tupou, Johnstone, Miller, Brough, Fifita, Randell, Kopczak, Ashurst, Batchelor, King. Subs: Crowther, Arona, England, Hirst, Wood, Kirmond, Jowitt, Reynolds, Horo.
Huddersfield Giants: McIntosh, McGillvary, Wardle, Turner, Uate. Gaskell, Frawley, Matagi, Leeming, English, Mellor, Murphy, Ta’ai. Subs: I Senior, Flynn, Roberts, Ikahihifo, L Senior, Hewitt, Lawrence.
Referee: James Child (Dewsbury).