WATCH - Wakefield Trinity 36 Huddersfield Giants 10: Timely Tyler Randell hat-trick steers Trinity to precious win to ease relegation dogfight fears
A HAT-TRICK of tries from Tyler Randell – his first ever – helped Wakefield Trinity to a precious 36-10 win over Huddersfield Giants last night, ending a six-game losing run in league and cup.
Trinity didn’t have things all their own way in the opening 40, but were the dominant team after the break when they scored 26 points without reply.
Randell made a fine return from injury and big forward Pauli Pauli also went well as Wakefield calmed their own relegation fears and left Giants, who were very poor, deep in danger.
Huddersfield will be one of four teams on 14 points if Leeds Rhinos beat Catalans Dragons on Sunday and London Broncos lose at Castleford Tigers.
Trinity’s run was good news for Rhinos who could potentially move up from bottom to ninth on for and against if results go their way, which illustrates how tight things are at the bottom of the table.
It was Giants’ fourth straight defeat, but they went ahead through a rare moment of quality, after nine minutes, when Jordan Turner kicked over the line and Alex Mellor ran through to touch down.
Lee Gaskell converted, but Turner lost the ball in the next set and the error was punished when Randell zipped through from acting-half, Danny Brough adding the extras.
Trinity should have made more of the possession and territory a seven-three first-half penalty count provided (it finished 11-6), but managed only two Brough penalty goals before Giants drew level on 28 minutes, Louis Senior getting over at the corner from Gaskell’s long pass.
When Mason Caton-Brown fumbled close to the line as he tried to pick up from his own kick it seemed the sides would go in all square at the break.
But then Mellor kicked out on the full from inside the visitors’ half, Kyle Wood’s grubber forced a goal line drop out and – with 13 seconds remaining on the clock – Randell threw a dummy and sliced through for his second try, off Ryan Hampshire’s off-load with Brough adding the two.
Huddersfield were down to 12 players at that stage, Aaron Murphy having been sin-binned on 35 minutes for delaying a tap restart. He was on his way back on to the field when Brough landed a drop goal to open a two-score gap five minutes into the second half and it was largely one-way traffic after that.
The former Giants scrum-half then picked out Jordan Crowther with a pass to create Trinity’s third try three minutes later, though Brough’s conversion attempt hit a post from almost in front.
That try owed much to some improvisation from Ben Jones-Bishop who stole the ball near Huddersfield’s line after Innes Senior had defused Brough’s bomb.
Hampshire took over kicking duties to extend the lead with a penalty on the hour and converted after Jacob Miller pounced on an error to race over with nine minutes left.
Huddersfield tried a short restart, but the ball was batted straight to Randell and he raced away to compete his treble, Hampshire adding the extras before Miller completed the scoring with a 75th-minute drop goal.
Wakefield Trinity: Hampshire, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Caton-Brown, Miller, Brough, England, Randell, Kopczak, Pauli, Tanginoa, Crowther. Subs King, Wood, Fifita, Gwaze.
Huddersfield Giants: McIntosh, L Senior, Cudjoe, Turner, I Senior, Gaskell, Frawley, Clough, O’Brien, Ikahihifo, Murphy, Mellor, Lawrence. Subs Leeming, Matagi, Ferguson, Ta’ai.
Referee: Greg Dolan (Leeds)