Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 10, Bradford Bulls 29
The nightmare goes on for John Kear and his men as they fell to defeat at the Hearwell Stadium on Friday night.
A sixth-straight reverse was tough to take for Wakefield after a gritty display in the first half of this Engage Super League Round 14 encounter against our West Yorkshire rivals.
The Wildcats were quite clearly out of sorts for although they quite clearly possessed the pace and fire power to bring to Bulls to earth. The side’s inconsistent handling and concessions of penalties enabled Bradford to stay within range.
There were some encouraging displays from individuals like Danny KIrmond, Damien Blanch and Aaron Murphy (pictured) but other players were less than happy or effective, especially in crashing second half display that saw the Wildcats ship 25 unanswered points.
Bulls coach Steve McNamara adjusted their tactics for that second period so that they drove down the middle of the pitch concentrating their fire power on the Wildcat pack and the switch of emphasis from a more expansive game quite clearly worked.
John Kear was a disappointed man at the end of the game and he had reason to be because it was another below par display by the Wildcat team.
There had been high hopes in the first 20 minutes of the game when Wakefield fashioned two tries.
Paul Cooke created an opening in the Bulls defence and Murphy plunged over for an unconverted try.
Further pressure on the Bulls line was rewarded with more points as Paul Johnson fastened on to a Tevita Leo-Latu pass to touch down in the 16th minute. Cooke added the goal points.
But that was as good as it got for the Wildcats. A string of penalties for indiscipline meant that they couldn’t drive home their advantage and with 20 seconds of the first half remaining the Bulls punished them when the Video Referee awarded Chris Nero an unconverted try.
That last blow encouraged Bradford and they turned the tide from the kick off in the second half.
Another video referee decision went their way after 42 minutes when Steve Menzies, a constant thorn in Trinity’s side, went over for a try and Paul Sykes added the goal to level the scores.
Then the Bulls put their foot down. Two minutes later the video referee was called up again by referee Ian Smith and the Bulls took the lead when Steve Ganson allowed Nero’s second try of the game.
Sykes tacked on a 49th minute penalty and then ensured the Wildcats needed two scores to win by kicking a drop goal in the 54th minute.
Although Wakefield continued to work hard the Bulls were now finding gaps in the Trinity defence on a regular basis.
That pressure told and in the last ten minutes Bradford fashioned tries by Wayne Godwin and Man of the Match Heath L’Estrange, both of which were goaled by Sykes.
It was definitely another tough day at the office for John Kear and the Wildcats.
Wildcats: Murphy; George, Gleeson, Demetriou, Blanch; Cooke, Obst; Korkidas, Leo-Latu, King, Johnson, Ferguson, Kirmond. Interchange: Morton, Moore, Gledhill, Henderson.
Bulls: Halley; Sheriffe, Platt, Nero, Reardon; Sykes, Kearney; Scruton, L’Estrange, Lynch, Whitehead, Worrincy, Menzies. Interchange: Godwin, Donaldson, Hall, Kopczak.
Referee: Ian Smith (RFL).
Halftime: 10-4. Attendance: 5,381.