Match Report Courtesy of Joe Drury
This may have been a ‘friendly’ but tensions ran high in this full blooded clash between two Yorkshire rivals. The game saw a youthful Wildcats side lock horns with a second string Rams team riddled with first team experience.
Both sides began the game with some strong defence in an effort to gain the upper hand but it was the Rams who were to open up the scoring on four minutes with a break-away try for ##32 ,after a Joel Gibson pass was downed by Tom Harrington. The Rams wasted no time in doubling their lead on five minutes, when some poor marker defence allowed Rams hooker ##35 to make a break and put in ##20 to score in the corner.
The Rams were growing in confidence and proving their dominance as the half went on and it wasn’t long before they were on the score sheet for a third time, when they used the overlap on their right-hand side to great effect and good support play by ##41 allowed him to score underneath the posts on eleven minutes.
Things weren’t getting any better for the Wildcats when Gibson kicked the ball out on the full from the restart and allowed Dewsbury to gain good field position and apply more pressure on the young Wildcats defence.
There was no love lost between the two sides which was evident by rip-roaring tackles being exchanged from the start and it wasn’t long before things boiled over. On nineteen minutes both sides traded blows in a fierce fracas which led to both sides been reduced to 12 players and two been sent to the sin-bin.
Dewsbury were not about to let that stop them continuing their dominance and with twenty four minutes on the clock they extended the lead when ##25 carved open the Wildcats defence with a jinking run to score beneath the posts. On 35 minutes things went from bad to worse for Wakefield when ##15 put ##27 in at the corner to make the score 24-0 and provided the Wildcats with a huge hill to climb if they were to get back in the game.
The Wildcats lacklustre first half display was compounded by a final try in the corner for ##32 who strolled through a dire Wakefield defence to put the nail in the coffin and make the score 30-0 at half-time.
The Wildcats came out for the second period and instantly looked a different team with some ferocious defence and a very energetic and structured attack which soon paid off when on forty three minutes a handling error by Kieran Wilby, twenty metres from the Dewsbury line gifted Wakefield great field position. After constant pressure from the Wakefield attack Lloyd Templeton powered over on forty four minutes to open the scoring for the Wildcats and give them a bit of hope.
The Wildcats attack gained more momentum in attack with some ruthless barnstorming running by their forwards and it wasn’t long before they grabbed a second on forty eight minutes when Jake Joynt crashed over from close range. The Rams looked bewildered and the young Wildcats could sense a come-back when on fifty two minutes Tom Henderson showed some good footwork to slice open the Rams defence and score by the side of the posts bringing the scores to 30-18 with twenty eight minutes remaining.
The Wildcats dominated for the remainder of the half and were camped down on the Rams line for the most part but just didn’t have the composure to find a way through and they were reduced to 11 men for the last 10 minutes as Joel Gibson was shown a yellow card for a high-tackle.
The brutal tackles continued from both sides but none bigger than the shuddering tackle from Adam Slater that cleaned the Rams ball carrier off his feet and brought a huge roar from the crowd but the tackle of the game has to go to ##21 who ran the width of the field to tackle Will Colleran on the line and deny the Wildcats a fourth try.
The game ended 30-18 to the Rams after a very poor first-half performance from the young Wildcats side that were missing several regular starters due to been called upon for first team duty. But on the positive side the game showcased plenty of young talent coming through for the Wildcats and many playing for the first time together, with 8 players been given their debuts.
WILDCATS TEAM : 18
Goals- Gibson 3
Sin-bin: Gibson 2