Wakefield Wildcats 28 Hull FC 46: Wakefield run out of steam after fightback

A POOR effort in the final half an hour condemned Wakefield Trinity Wildcats to their first defeat since Chris Chester officially took charge before Easter.

Monday, 25th April 2016, 5:13 am
Wildcats' Ashley Gibson crosses for the first of three tries against Hull. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Wildcats, who had won their previous five, were beaten 46-28 by visitors Hull in a strange, end-to-end encounter, after overturning an 18-point deficit during the first half.

Wakefield looked to be on course for another win when they led 28-24 just four minutes into the second period.

Up to that point both teams had been devastating with ball in hand, but neither had been able to defend.

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But from then on Wakefield lost their way in attack, despite spells of heavy pressure and Hull’s improved tackling display secured what was, in the end, a deserved win.

Defeat was tough on Wakefield centre Ashley Gibson, who scored a well-taken hat-trick in the first half.

There was also another impressive effort from teenage full-back Max Jowitt, and Jacob Miller did well against his former club.

But Wildcats were hampered by the early loss of prop Anthony Tupou, who suffered a badly cut mouth in a huge collision with Hull captain Gareth Ellis, who was placed on report.

Chester was unhappy with that incident, though his opposite number Lee Radford said the damage was caused by Ellis’ head and had been accidental.

To make things worse, Wakefield were also without ex-Hull centre Reece Lyne for much of the second half after he suffered a hamstring tear.

With Joe Arundel, yet another former Black and White, also missing, that was a big blow and contributed to Wildcats’ poor attacking effort once Hull had regained the lead.

Gibson’s first try opened the scoring, but Hull ran in four tries in 11 minutes to go 24-6 ahead, with Ellis, Fetuli Talanoa, Josh Bowden and Talanoa again all crossing.

At that stage Hull seemed in complete command, but Wakefield struck back to level the scores before the break.

Miller’s long pass sent Tom Johnstone in, Gibson crossed from close range after a break by Jowitt and then he touched down again from good work by Liam Finn and Miller.

Finn converted all four, but missed with a penalty after the half-time hooter and hit a post following Danny Kirmond’s 44th minute touchdown.

Hull were the better team after that.

Talanoa’s hat-trick score edged them ahead for the second time and Kirk Yeaman opened an eight-point gap with 25 minutes remaining. Amazingly, there was no more scoring until six minutes from time when Talanoa bagged his fourth – Marc Sneyd being off target with his conversion attempt for the only time – and Jamie Shaul scored the game’s 13th and final try in the next set.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Jowitt, Jones-Bishop, Gibson, Lyne, Johnstone, Miller, Finn, England, Moore, Scruton, A Tupou, Kirmond, Sio. Subs Simon, Ashurst, Molloy, Arona.

Hull: Shaul, Naughton, Fonua, Yeaman, Talanoa, Pryce, Sneyd, Watts, Houghton, Bowden, Manu, Pritchard, Ellis. Subs Minichiello, Green, Washbrook, Taylor.,

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Mirfield).

Attendance: 6,701.