Wakefield Wildcats slipped to back-to-back defeats after Bradford came out on top 34-26 at a blustery Odsal.
Both teams evenly shared ten tries but it was the boot of an aptly named Luke Gale who made the difference after successfully kicking all seven of his goal attempts in the West Yorkshire wind.
Just as Trinity did on Monday evening against Leeds Rhinos, they gave the hosts a 12 point head start after tries from Elliot Whitehead and Keith Lulia gave the Bulls an early lead. It wasn’t long before the Wildcats hit-back and it was the in form Paul Aiton, a first try for the club. The visitors did well to keep the ball alive as the ball was spread from right to left which set Ali Lauitiiti free who fed Aiton on the inside who sped free fully 40 metres to score.
Bulls winger Shaun Ainscough then restored the 12 point cushion after a scrappy piece of play ended up in the hands of Ainscough to score with Gale adding his third conversion of the afternoon.
Three tries without reply followed to give Richard Agar’s men a 20-18 lead as Ben Cockayne finished neatly after going through numerous pairs of hands. Once again the impressive Tim Smith made it over the white wash after a moment of individual brilliance saw him jink his way over. That was followed by the returning Frankie Mariano’s effort who was one of two changes to the 17 as Danny Kirmond came in to replace Kyle Trout and Lucas Walshaw.
Mariano’s pace and power set him through a hole to give the visitors a deserved half time lead in a 40 minutes when attack was very much on top.
Trinity then started the second half slowly and soon fell behind as the Bulls went 100 metres to score as Lulia grabbed his second. Mick Potter’s men were helped by Steve Southern’s injury as the forward was left out of play with a suspected ankle injury in the build-up to the score. Gale then extended the lead with a penalty after a head high shot which brought the score to 26-20 mid-way through the second period.
The introduction of Kyle Wood made a difference though and within minutes of him being on the pitch he set up Kyle Amor to crash over from short range with Sykes adding the extras it made the score 26-26 going into the last 15 minutes.
The game was up in the air when Frenchman Olivier Elima dived on a ball after a grubber through rebounded off the post which caused mayhem amongst the Trinity defence. Gale slotted over the extras again before the visitors indiscipline cost them by giving away a penalty for offside in front of their own sticks. Bradford had no hesitation at kicking for goal with Gale keeping up his impressive form with his right boot to make it seven out of
The defeat leaves Wakefield in 11th position and seven points adrift of the play-offs and face Catalan Dragons next Saturday before their next home game at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium against Wigan Warriors on Sunday 8th July.
Kearney, Ainscough, Platt, Lulia, Pryce, Jeffries, Gale, Elima, L’Estrange, Hargreaves, Bateman, Whitehead, Langley. Replacements: Burgess, Mauokafoa, Sammut, Olbison.
Mathers, Fox, Collis, Mellars, Cockayne, Sykes, Smith, Amor, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Replacements: Wood, Wilkes, Southern, Mariano.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.