WILDCATS 32-30 HULL FC

posted on 10 June 2012

A late Ali Lauitiiti try secured a stunning Wildcats fightback as they recorded a third straight win for the first time since the beginning of 2010.

Ali Lauitiiti crashed over for a dramatic winning try.

Two Kirk Yeaman tries at the start of the second half seemed to see Hull FC on the way to the two points as they led 30-10 but Wakefield staged a remarkable turnaround.

Paul Sykes, Kyle Amor, Danny Washbrook and finally Lauitiiti gave Trinity a 32-30 lead going into the final five minutes and despite some nervy moments, the Wildcats got the win their spirit deserved.

Peter Fox and Dean Collis had gone over in the first half for the home side who were under the cosh for long periods and scores for Willie Manu, Ben Crooks and Brett Seymour gave Hull FC  fully deserved 18-10 lead at the interval.

After Yeaman’s brace it seemed a case of how many the Airlie Birds wanted to score but Wakefield showed fantastic spirit to comeback and send a near 9,000 strong crowd into raptures.

Richard Agar’s plans were unsettled when a second opinion on Danny Kirmond’s scan on his damaged cheekbone revealed there was a fracture meaning Lucas Walshaw came straight into the starting line-up, with Kyle Trout stepping up to the replacements bench in place of Frankie Mariano.

An error from the kick-off set the tone for the Wildcats opening quarter  and after an ambitious offload from Kyle Amor early in the tackle count put the hosts on the front foot, Hull FC went through the tackles and ultimately had weight of numbers for Manu to go over.

Danny Tickle made it a 6-0 lead and in the very next set he increased it by slotting over a 20 metre penalty from in front of the sticks.

All the action was coming from the Airlie Birds and on a red hot day in West Yorkshire the last thing the Wildcats needed was to be defending for most of the opening twenty minutes.  Gaps were always likely to open and one did for Seymour who sidestepped his way over the line.

Even at that early stage you felt that the next score had to come from the home side and after a couple of penalties presented the Wildcats with good field position, Smith stabbed through a short kick into the right hand corner and Collis won the race to get the ball down.

Trinity used the try as a springboard for a spell of pressure and spent a number of sets pressing the black and whites try line.  A loose ball from Smith was quickly followed by a penalty conceded by Washbrook and as the Wildcats were marched downfield, Hull FC worked the ball quickly right where Crooks stepped inside Cockayne to score.

Wakefield hit back just before the interval courtesy of former Hull KR man Fox.  He got the attack rolling with a strong carry and quick play of the ball, and once Smith was put in the clear he had Fox on his shoulder to outpace Tom Briscoe and score under the sticks.

If that was the perfect finish to the first half then the second period couldn’t have got off to a worse start.  Steve Ganson penalised Cockayne and the Wildcats were made to pay when Yeaman made light of some soft tackling to get over the line.

Things went from bad to worse when the usually reliable Mathers made an error fielding a kick to concede a goal line drop-out and the Airlie Birds used that opportunity to turn the screw, Yeaman’s second try in a matter of minutes coming as he chased down Seymour’s kick.

The Wildcats managed to halt the Hull FC charge temporarily through Sykes.  Cockayne found himself with ball in hand on the last and his grubber flew up off a defenders leg and into the arms of the stand-off who went direct for the line and got over the whitewash.

The atmosphere at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium lifted and it went up a notch when the black and whites conceded a penalty and Washbrook crashed over against his former club to bring the Wildcats back within eight points.

With Hull FC reeling there was a white wave heading towards the Fleetmaster North Stand and it was a wave that the visitors couldn’t stop with Amor taking Smith’s inside ball to go in under the sticks and draw within two points after Sykes’ conversion.

There was still fifteen minutes left on the clock but the impetus was firmly with the men in red, white and blue but they found a renewed stubbornness in Hull FC’s goal line defence and they frustrated the Wildcats.

But man of the match Sykes found Lauitiiti and the big Kiwi scored a try that completed one of the best comebacks the famous stadium has ever seen.

Wildcats

Mathers, Fox, Collis, Mellars, Cockayne, Sykes, Smith, Amor, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Walshaw, Washbrook. Replacements: Wood, Wilkes, Southern, Trout.

Hull FC

Russell, Crooks, Turner, Yeaman, Briscoe, Ellis, Seymour, Lynch, Houghton, Moa, Manu, Tickle, Westerman. Whiting, Aspinwall, Pitts, O’Carroll.

This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.

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