Wakefield College’s junior reporters were in attendance for Saturday’s Under 20s game between the Wildcats reserves and Hull KR Reserves. Here are their reports.
Wakefield Wildcats 36 Hull Kingston Rovers 32
Tony Drury’s men endured a tough second half fight back from Hull KR to secure the well earned win against Hull Kingston Rovers. Tries from usual first teamer Sean Gleeson and a double from Matt Wildie gave the Wildcats an early lead, while Pettman and Lawton finished off the Wildcats first half scores to make it 30-12, writes THOMAS DUNNILL
Hull then scored 20 unanswered points before team captain James Davey gave Wakefield back the lead which clinched victory.
The game started brightly for the Wildcats with Fox dummying past the Hull defence to release Gleeson on the half way line. He sprinted away to the touchline to score the first points of the game. The second try was a carbon copy with Davey breaking through the line , again on halfway, to then release Wildie who sped away to score and convert his own try to make it 12-0 to the Wildcats.
Hull KR then began to up the pressure on the Wakefield defence as Frank Marhaw offloaded metres away from the line to set up Ben Hardcastle to score. But minutes later a glimpse of Gleeson’s brilliance was shown as he dodged several tackles to set up the second of Wildie’s tries.
Hull KR attack lacked ideas as they did not use kicks in attacking play and tried to use the power play at every opportunity. This was punished by the Wildcats as Hyde broke from the resulting turnover to set up the attack which included a stunning offload from Davey to Pettman who completed the try.
Hull were still fighting and after some quick passing down the line the ball ended up at the hands of Nick Johnson who easily crossed over. Wakefield’s first half dominance was completed with a 39th minute try by Lawton and a completed conversion by Wildie to make the half time score 30-12.
The second half looked to begin in the same way as the first but Fox’s try was disallowed for offside from Wildie’s kick. Hull made them pay for this error as they upped the tempo when Johnson crossed for his second try of the game.
Then kicker Hardcastle gave Wakefield the run around with some top quality dummies to the score under the sticks and converted his own try. Hull’s Scott Spaven capped off an impressive performance with a spectacular double, the first spinning the defence to score and showing great pace for his second to sprint away from the stunned Wakefield defence to make the score 30-32 to Hull setting up a tense finale.
Hull KR were looking to finish off Wakefield who showed huge resilience and great defensive qualities to hold off the sustained pressure. The game was then end to end as both teams searched for a winner.
Finally, Wildcat captain James Davey broke through under the sticks, showing great strength to give Wakefield lead. The try was then converted by Gibson as usual kicker, Wildie had been injured during the attack. Hull then tried everything to score including an unsuccessful short restart.
Wakefield endured constant pressure from the Hull attack including being forced to take a last minute goal line drop out but held on for the victory. This will in no doubt be a huge positive for Tony Drury whose team showed great character to hold on for the victory.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcat Reserves 36, Hull KR Reserves 32
By Adam Land
Wakefield continued their recent good form with an impressive win over Hull KR. The second half was the turning point as Hull came back from being 30-12 down to 32-30 ahead with just 16 minutes to play.
Wakefield snatched the game in the 72nd minute with a try from James Davey and a conversion from Joel Gibson. Their defence resisted the pressure from Hull KR for the remainder of the match to give Wakefield the victory.
The Wildcats had been dominant in the first half, going into the break with a 30-12 lead. They scored five tries, two of which were breaks from their own half, and all of which were converted. Their defence played very well as Hull put a lot of pressure on in the first half but failed to convert the pressure into points.
The Wakefield side had first team regular Sean Gleeson playing at right centre. Within five minutes, he scored the first try of the match in great style, latching onto a good offload by Adam Fox to run 40 metres and score under the sticks. Matt Wildie converted the try to make the score 6-0.
Hull started to apply pressure, but in the ninth minute, a tackle break from James Davey and an offload to Matt Wildie allowed him to double the lead, running from his own half to score under the sticks. He converted his own try.
Rovers’ pressure paid of in the 17th minute, when stand off Ben Hardcastle pounced onto a dropped ball in Wakefield’s in-zone to score in the corner. A good conversion by Hardcastle made the score 12-6.
Four minutes later Wakefield regained their 12 point lead when Sean Gleeson made two great dummies and offloaded the ball to Matt Wildie, who then beat two Hull players to score under the sticks. Again Wildie converted his own try to make the score 18-6.
Hull again started to pile pressure on Wakefield, however it was Wakefield again who scored next. In the 31st minute, Luke Pettman skilfully broke through the Hull line to score to the left of the sticks. Matt Wildie added the two points with a good conversion.
A few mistakes from the Wildcats including Rowan Trew and Ben Gledhill jumping into each other at the restart allowed Hull KR to score and get back into the game. In the 35th minute and on the sixth tackle, Dominic Dee played a good pass to winger Nick Johnson to score out wide. A good conversion from Hardcastle made the score 24-12.
In the last minute of the half, Wakefield added to their lead again when centre Adam Fox played a good offload to Danny Lawton who scored in the corner. The try was converted by Wildie and the referee blew for half time moments later, with the half time score being 30-12 to the Wildcats.
The second half saw a completely different Hull KR team, their good pressure continued and paid off in the 47th minute. A high pass from full back Alex Everitt was latched onto by Nick Johnson who scored his 2nd of the match. The try was not converted however giving the Wildcats a 14 point lead.
However eight minutes later this lead was cut to two points, when Ben Hardcastle dummied 3 Wildcat defenders to score under the sticks, and Scott Spaven turned his markers to score to the right of the sticks. Both these tries were converted. This made the score 30-28 to the Wildcats, and they were desperately hanging onto their lead.
Vital mistakes from both teams constantly occurred for the next 10 minutes of the match, both teams knocking the ball on twice and both giving away penalties. On the 64th minute however Hull took the lead when Scott Spaven made a great run from half way, easily outpacing the Wildcat’s full back to score. The conversion was unsuccessful, making the score 32-30 to Hull KR.
It looked certain that Wakefield were to lose after that, making many mistakes including kicking the ball out on the full from the restart. In the last 10 minutes they sorted out their problems and started playing a lot better rugby. The 72nd second minute saw Wakefield’s James Davey break a tackle 4m from the try line to go over under the sticks. The try was converted by Joel Gibson giving Wakefield a 36-32 lead.
The Wildcat’s defence was enough to keep Hull KR out for the last eight minutes of the match and confirm their victory. Wakefield players were tremendously happy when the referee blew the whistle for full time.
The Wakefield team showed very good individual performances, as well as a very strong defence. Players such as James Davey, who scored the winning try and set up the first, and Matt Wildie who scored a brace both proved they are hot prospects for the future.
Wakefield: Hyde, Harrington, Gleeson, Fox, Lawton, Gibson, Wildie, Spiers, Davey, Trout, Scott, Ramsden, Annekin, Pettman, Gledhill, Lowther, Trew.
Hull KR: Everitt, Cook, Wilson, Slater, Johnson, Hardcastle, Bell, Dee, Spaven, Green, Marhaw, Cox, Ollett, Moore, Taylor, Powley, Bowring.
Half Time: 30-12
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats Reserves 36 Hull Kingston Rovers Reserves 32
Wakefield defended well in the first half and looked confident pushing forward with speed. The Wildcats reserves opened the score in early minutes with Adam Fox breaking through from a Wakefield scrum to see first team regular Sean Gleeson score a try under the sticks. In the third minute Matt Wildie completed the conversion to take the score to 6-0, writes Joseph Warne.
Six minutes later fast play from James Davey and Matt Wildie was rewarded in another try, as Wildie ran from the half way line to score under the sticks yet again. The conversion was scored to take the Wildcats reserves 12-0 up in the first 10 minutes.
Hull KR responded in the 16th minute after heavy attack at the Wakefields defence. Ben Hardcastle broke through to get Rovers onto the scoreboard. Hardcastle was successful with the conversion, Wildcats 12-6 Rovers.
Energetic play from Sean Gleeson who skipped past three players to release the ball to Wildie who ran with pace to the try line. Again the conversion was successful, on the 20th minute the score 18-6.
Hull KR still looked keen on the attack and really tested Wakefield’s defence. However a turnover on the fifth tackle just before the try-line prevented a Hull try on the 23rd minute of play.
On the 30th minute Wildcats Luke Pettman pushed forward through the Rovers defence to touchdown, extending the lead to 24-6 after the conversion was scored by Matt Wildie.
A well worked try was scored after teamwork from Domonic Dee, Liam Slater and Nick Johnson for Hull Kingston Rovers. Johnson scoring far left of the pitch, breaking through on the fifth tackle to earn his team points on the 35th minute. Hardcastle completed a difficult conversion to bring the score to 24-12.
Danny Lawton was set on by Adam Fox to score another try for Wakefield in the last minute of the first half. Matt Wildie kicked between the sticks to see Wildcats take a comfortable half time lead at 30-12. The first half was a very end to end game with Wakefield taking their chances, attacking with pace and defending well under the pressure from Hull KR.
The Rovers came out fighting in the second half, pushing for a come back over the comfortable Wildcats. Kristian Bell received a high pass after heavy position for Hull KR, resulting in a try to the left of the pitch. The conversion was unsuccessful from Hardcastle but the score was 30-16 on the 47th minute.
Four minutes on Hull KR maintain the attacking possession, on the 51st minute Hardcastle skipped three players to find the tryline after a 30 metre sprint. With the conversion scored, the score came to 30-22. A comeback was in sight for the Rovers with just under half an hour to play.
Concentration for the Wildcats Reserves looked to have dropped in the game, possibly feeling too comfortable with the half time lead. The team looked to sit back and defend.
Hull KR became strong on the attack, quickly pushing forward. After close play in the final 10 yard, Scott Spaven forced through to the right of the sticks. With the conversion scored on the 54th minute, it took the game to 30-28.
Ten minutes on Spaven scored again for Rovers from a 40 yard sprint, which broke the teams even at 30-30. However Hardcastle completed the conversion to take the Rovers into the lead with 16 minutes to go making it 30-32 with Hull KR scoring 20 points in 16 minutes.
In the 70th minute Wakefield defended well preventing further score from Hull and two minutes later Wildcats pushed forward seeking victory, as James Davey forced over the try line to put the team ahead. Matt Wildie was injured in a collision under the sticks during the try. Joel Gibson scored the conversion to put Wakefield back in front at 36-32 on the 72nd minute.
Wakefield continued to attack and defended well in the last minutes of the match. The full time whistle was a sigh of relief for Tony Drury’s team which almost saw second half defeat from the comeback of the Rovers. However a strong sense of belief in the squad took them forward to win the match in the last 10 minutes.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats Reserves Team: Hyde, Harrington, Gleeson, Fox, Lawton, Gibson, Wildie, Spiers, Davey, Trout, Scott, Ramsden, Annekin, Pettman, Gledhill, Lowther, Trew.
Hull Kingston Rovers Reserves Team: Everitt, Cook, Wilson, Slater, Johnson, Hardcastle, Bell, Dee, Spaven, Green, Marhaw, Cox, Ollett, Moore, Taylor, Powley, Bowring.