YOUNG STARS Tom Johnstone and Max Jowitt shone as a new era dawned for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Chris Chester took charge for the first time since being appointed coach last week and masterminded a 36-22 win over Huddersfield Giants which lifted Wildcats to 10th in First Utility Super League.
It was only Wildcats’ second win of the season – their previous victory being against Chester’s Hull KR – and their fifth against top-flight opposition since the start of 2015.
Wildcats played with more confidence and freedom than previously this year and had the self-belief to battle back from an early deficit and kick on when Giants twice threatened to pull the game from the fire.
Johnstone, 20, scored a contender for try of the season to take the match away from Huddersfield in the second half and 19-year-old Jowitt, who started at full-back, also crossed and made one outstanding try-saving tackle.
Giants had just cut the gap to two points when Johnstone received the ball from Liam Finn near his own line, stepped and weaved into space, accelerated and held off the chasers on a brilliant long-range run to the line.
Earlier Jowitt’s try had nudged Wakefield ahead for the second time, the England academy star finishing well off Jacob Miller’s pass.
Jowitt also got back to catch Jermaine McGillvary, the England winger and last year’s Super League top try scorer, when he seemed certain to cross in the first half. Giants were in front briefly early on after McGillvary went over and Danny Brough landed the first of his two conversions.
Jowitt’s long pass sent Johnstone diving over and then Mikey Sio touched down after Brough fumbled Miller’s kick behind his own line. Jared Simpson let Stuart Howarth’s kick bounce and Reece Lyne nipped in to grab Wakefield’s third try, all converted by Finn.
Giants got themselves back into the game with eight points just before the interval, Jake Connor barging his way over and Brough converting and adding a penalty after the hooter had sounded.
Wildcats, who had another outstanding performer in Anthony England, could have collapsed when Connor scored his second try, easing through some poor defence, early in the second half.
Instead they stepped up another gear and regained the advantage through Jowiit’s well-taken touchdown.
Both teams were reduced to 12 men when Mickael Simon and Larne Patrick were sin-binned and Brough’s long pass put another ex-Wildcat Aaron Murphy over at the corner.
That could have set up a tense finish, but Johnstone’s try ended Giants’ resistance and in the final moments Nick Scruton went over from a pass by Scott Moore, playing his first game since recovering from a pre-season injury.
Former Castleford half-back Finn completed a perfect afternoon with the boot by landing a sixth conversion.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Jowitt, Lyne, Arundel, Gibson, Johnstone, Miller, Finn, Scruton , Moore, England, Kirmond, Ashurst, Sio, Subs: Simon, Annakin, Howarth, Miolloy.
Huddersfield Giants: Simpson, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Connor, Murphy, Brough, Brierley, Huby, Wood, Rapira, Ta’ai, Lawrence, Hinchcliffe. Subs: Patrick, Johnson, Leeming, Mason.
Referee: Gareth Hewer (Whitehaven).