Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 14, Hull KR 48
There was no mistaking how disappointed Head Coach John Kear was with the Wildcat performance in this Round 20 encounter with Hull KR. It was written all over his face as he faced the media at Belle Vue.
And the tight lipped coach did not mince his words: “We don’t deserve to be a top eight side on that performance. I felt sorry for the paying spectators who worked hard all week and saved their money to watch that kind of poor performance.
“The plain fact is that we were mullered by a team who played very well.
“It’ll make very poor viewing for the players on Monday when they come to watch what they didn’t do on the video replay.
“A lot of work has gone into this team by the coaching staff and then this is what happens.
“We were outplayed especially in the second half and I was more than disappointed when we just appeared to give it up in the last ten minutes of the match.”
Hull KR Head coach Justin Morgan was not dismissive of the Wildcat effort. He said: “Despite what it said on the scoreboard at the end of the game this was a very difficult game for us.
“We knew before we came to Belle Vue that we faced a team who want a top eight spot and were prepared to work hard for the opportunity. It was a very physical encounter but I was very happy with and proud of my team.”
Kear who had hit the heights seven days earlier when the Wildcats beat Crusaders 41-0 at The Racecourse had every reason to be unhappy with his team. They found Rovers a real handful and even when the Robins were reduced to eleven men in the last five minutes of the match Wakefield conceded two tries – granted they were down to 12 after Michael Korkidas had been yellow carded eight minutes from the end.
All the signs were there in the first half when the Wildcats found themselves trailing 22-0 after Michael Dobson and Clint Newton had gone in for tries both of which Dobson converted.
Wakefield hopes fluttered briefly after 26 minutes when Newton failed to kill off a Ben Jeffries bomb and Daryl Millard nipped in to ground the ball for an unconverted try. But two minutes before the break Kirk Welham brushed his way through the paper thin Trinity defence to score a an unconverted try too.
The second half started badly with two ties in the first ten minutes for Hull KR. To make matters worse it was former Trinity man Peter Fox who scored them both with Dobson tacking on the goal points both times.
In the 50th minute Richard Moore barged his way over for a try that Paul Cooke converted but four minutes later Dobson took the shine off for the Wildcats by kicking a penalty.
Paul Johnson managed to get the ball down for a try in the 58th minute in spite of being felled by a high tackle but Cooke’s kick was again off target.
Under pressure from the enthusiastic Hull KR attack led by second-row forward Ben Galea the Wildcat discipline crumbled and at one stage they conceded five successive penalties two of which Dobson sent flying between their posts.
In the 732nd minute Korkidas challenged Dobson heavily and that resulted in a fracas which saw Liam Watts and Rhys Ludgrove as well as the Big Greek sin binned by referee Ben Thaler. That left Wakefield with 12 men and Rovers with eleven.
But the Wildcat will wilted under the pressure and prop Scott Wheeldon was presented with tries in the 76th and 78th minutes both of which were improved by Dobson.
The Wildcats now have a mountain to climb to prepare for next Saturday’s televised Round 21 game at Belle Vue against Hull FC.
Wildcats. Blaymire; Blanch, Murphy, Millard, Morton; Cooke, Jeffries; Moore, Rinaldi, Leaeno, Kirmond, Morrison, Demetriou. Interchange (all used): Korkidas, King, Johnson, Leo-Latu.
Hull KR: Cockayne; Fox, Newton, Welham, Latus; Murrell, Dobson; Clinton, Fisher, Wheeldon, Lovegrove, Galea, Watts. Interchange (all used): Vella, Taylor, Hodgson, Cook.R
Referee: Mr B Thaler (RFL)