2012 top try scorer Ben Cockayne had admitted his first season at the club has been the best of his career after scoring 16 tries and finishing fourth position in the individual metres chart for the whole of Super League.
Cockayne arrived at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium from Featherstone after a difficult year where he was released from Hull KR midway through the 2011 season but quickly established himself with Trinity on his return to top flight rugby and earned a new contract within months.
The 29-year-old scored seven tries in his first eight games for the club and put pen to paper on a new deal in April as a consequence of his fantastic early season form. That was just the start of things to come as Cockayne featured in 28 of the Wildcats 29 first team games, including scoring his 100th career try away to Salford.
The Trinity number 5 looks back on the year with great fondness.
“Without doubt this has been my best season in Super League and probably my most enjoyable one as well in terms of how happy I have been both on and off the field. It really has been a great year for me,” said Cockayne.
“It was a great start for me and to earn a new contract was my intention when I first came here. I wanted to rip into pre-season and start the season well and earn a new deal. We got that done back in April so to get it sorted as early as we did was a real big buzz for me and it’s just onwards and upwards for me now.”
The former KR man had a fellow former Robin on his opposite wing throughout the season in Peter Fox who ran him close in the race to be Wakefield’s top try scorer and metre maker. Fox scored 14 tries and finished sixth in the Super League metre chart and Cockayne says finishing top scorer was a real achievement.
“It is nice, especially when I have my old mate Peter Fox on the other wing and it is nice to pip him because it’s something I’ve never done before. Peter has always been up around the 20’s but obviously for me to beat him and finish top of the charts for Wakefield it has been a great year for me.
“Me and Peter noticed that around the mid-season point we were going alright in the metres table and I said to him, ‘I am going to beat you’ and I’ve done him in that as well. On a personal note, and speaking for Foxy as well, we have both had a great year and both being really good team players and we’ve done what we’ve had to do for the team.
“When we played at Hull KR together we had a bit of rivalry but obviously Peter was in the team a lot more consistently than me so he tended to do me in every department. For both of us to have a good full year under our belts it has been a good bit of competition and the team and certainly a healthy one that has benefited the team.”
Looking back at the season as a whole the former Doncaster man was delighted with the year and the way the club went into the off-season with a smile on their faces.
“I think it was a great season, especially the back-end of the year, it was outstanding to win seven games in-a-row and playing Leeds in a play-off game. Nobody would have predicted anything like that mid-season so I think it is fair to say it has been a successful one and one I have really enjoyed.
“I suppose it just clicked for us and fell into place and everything we worked on throughout the year seemed to have run smoothly and you have to give credit to the coaches for sticking to their guns in what they wanted to put out on the field and it paid off at the end.”
Cockayne is contracted to the club until the end of the 2014 season and on return from his holiday to Asia he will be back to work with his fitness classes and promoting the weight loss product ‘Herbalife’ and he admits these activities are keeping him busy.
“Once I get back from Thailand it is straight back to work with me with my fitness classes to run and I’m pushing the Herbalife really hard so it’s just something that keeps me occupied and something that I really enjoy doing. Some would say it keeps me out of trouble and if that’s the case then great.
“You don’t really look forward to pre-season because you tend to put a few pounds on and you come back when its freezing cold but it will be a good buzz to come back and see the boys along with the new faces. It is exciting but at the same time it is pretty daunting as well.”
Cockayne will face increased competition for 2013 after the arrival of outside back Reece Lyne from Hull FC and with the youngster signed up along with extensions to key Trinity players like Tim Smith, Ali Lauitiiti, Paul Aiton and Frankie Mariano, if you haven’t bought your Gold Membership yet then beat the October 31st deadline and be part of the Wildcats next season.
Adults Memberships are just £125, 16-21 year olds £50 while concessions £85 if you buy before October 31st and you can purchase yours today by clicking online HERE, visiting either of the clubs retail outlets at the Ridings Centre Store or Rapid Solicitors Stadium Box Office or alternatively calling 01924 201548 / 211611.
* Academy Man of Steel Tom Lillycrop has today joined Dewsbury Rams, now coached by Glenn Morrison. With the change to the Academy structure to an under 19′s side for 2013, Lillycrop will have been too old to play at Academy level. The Wildcats will be monitoring his progress along with others who have left in part due to the change to the Academy setup.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.