Wakefield Wildcats 16 St Helens 18
Wakefield suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of St Helens after a poor first half performance. Saints began taking control late in the first half with Nathan Ashe creating their first two tries from excellent kicks, writes THOMAS DUNNILL.
Billy Sheen also crossed with a minute remaining of the first half. The second half was simply the Joel Gibson show as he took total control of the match by creating all three of Wakefield’s tries and looking a constant threat whenever on the ball.
Both teams began the match rather slowly with neither side creating any real chances but overall Wakefield looked the more dangerous of the two throughout. But it was Saints that struck first with the chance being created from Nathan Ashe’s 40-20 kick. One minute later he was again on the ball releasing Warren Thompson through to score in the 32nd minute.
Five minutes later Ashe set up Danny Wakefield with a quality grubber kick under the sticks. A minute from time Tommy Johnson broke free on the wing to set up Billy Sheen who was free to race to the try line. Johnson converted all three tries to make the half time score 18-0 to the away side.
The second half started much brighter for the Wildcats with a touch of class from Joel Gibson who was able to set up Gareth Potts on the wing to cross for Wakefield’s first points. Wildie was unable to convert the resulting kick making the score 18-4.
Gibson was at it again as his pass released a charging Chris Annakin who broke through the challenges to score. Gibson was relentless in his effort with a 40-20 kick which was wasted after a forward pass on the first tackle. He again was the creator of the Wildcats’ next try with a beautiful chipped kick which set up Danny Laughton to run clear to the line. Wildie converted these two tries which set up a tense finale as Wakefield were 16-18 down with four minutes remaining.
Wakefield increased the pressure and could have had a winning try if it wasn’t for a great try saving flick away from the in-goal area after a brilliant Gibson chip. Although they had most of the ball and pressure it was a disappointing end to what could have been a great victory but they did show great promise, in particular Man-of-theMatch Joel Gibson.
Wakefield: Hodgeson; Brickwood, Laughton, Coleran, Potts; Gibson, Henderson; Spiers, Wildie, Trout, Scott, Harrington, Annekin. Interchange: Pettman, Gledhill, Griffin, Lowther.
St Helens: Baynes; Johnson, Jones, Armstrong, Sutton; Ashe, Wakefield; Fozzard, Ashall, Yates, Thompson, Hale, Forster. Interchange: Sheen, Jones, Cullen, Walker.