Wakefield Trinity Wildcats hosted local rivals Leeds Rhinos this afternoon at a sunny, bustling Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
The home side had a fantastic first half claiming most of the possession and producing both great attacking and defensive play. A string of Wakefield penalties provided Frankie Mariano with a great try scoring opportunity but the strong forward came just short of the line. The Wildcats kept their defence strong and pulled the visitors into touch twice in five minutes.
The 21st minute saw the first attack from the Rhinos, but a forward pass stopped them from getting the first set of points on the scoreboard. It was in fact the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats that were first to cross the whitewash. A Rhinos knock on lead to Aussie Skipper Glenn Morrison making a fantastic break down the pitch. A pass out wide to Greg Johnson sent the youngster flying over the line, an unsuccessful conversion left the scores at 4-0 to the Wakefield side.
The sin binning of Leeds prop Luke Burgess in the 27th minute left the Rhinos down to 12 players on the field. Luke George nearly capitalised on this shortage of men, but was pulled into touch just short of the line. Solid defence from the Wildcats prevented the Rhinos from adding any extras before the half time hooter. The scores stood at 4 points to nil to the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats as they entered the dressing rooms.
The Rhinos came out fighting in the second half. A quick try from winger Kalum Watkins left the scores at 4-4 and a penalty kick shortly after meant that the visiting side took the lead by 6 points to 4. A second and third try were to follow from youngster Kalum Watkins, with two unsuccessful Leeds conversions the scores soon stood at Wildcats 6, Rhinos 14.
The Wildcats responded with an attacking set of six but a forward pass from Greg Johnson kept the home side from shortening the gap on the scoreboard. A further two tries followed from the Rhinos from Danny Buderus and Kallum Watkins respectively. Kevin Sinfield added the extras with the boot leaving the score at 28 points to 6.
Two Wakefield penalties in the last few minutes of the game allowed the Wildcats to attack the line but the team failed to add any extras. The game finished at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 6, Leeds Rhinos 28.
Chris Dean put in a Man of the Match performance and with an official attendance of over 8,750 people the Rapid Solicitors Stadium was packed full of Rugby League fanatics! The Wildcats performed with pure grit and determination as always and will take away a number of positives from today’s game, especially from their impressive first half performance.
The Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ next contest is another Yorkshire derby, against the Huddersfield Giants on Sunday. Tickets are available from the Wildcats Superstore or by calling 01924 211611.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.