Wakefield Wildcats have begun 2013 in convincing style after beating Featherstone Rovers 38-10 at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
The hosts ran in seven tries against the Championship opponents who struggled against the pace and power of their Super League counterparts. The first half was the most productive for Richard Agar’s men with five tries, including one for Justin Poore on his home debut.
Agar named a strong side to take on Rovers which was the same 13 that started in the Boxing Day defeat against Leeds Rhinos. That meant Poore started the game once again and it was only a matter of minutes before the powerhouse opened his account in the red, white and blue. The number 8 was far too strong for the visitor’s middle as he bustled his way over beneath the sticks.
It was an eventful start for the Australian as once again he was in the heart of the action with his strong runs and hard hitting defence while he also gave away and won a penalty. That was all before the prop was replaced after blood was coming from a cut in a collision which meant the end of the game for the forward.
The healthy crowd didn’t have to wait long for the second try of the match as Ali Lauitiiti powered over from close range following a Tim Smith assist as the floodgates opened in the first 40 minutes. Two superb long range tries then followed with Ben Cockayne scoring one before setting one up.
The number 5 broke free up his left wing and brushed off the challenge from Rovers full-back Ian Hardman before the try of the game. Cockayne sped onto a short Richard Mathers pass inside his own half before making an arched run up the right wing and found his opposite winger Peter Fox 15 metres out who crashed over. Sykes missed his only kick off the afternoon which left the scores at 22-0.
Minutes later the former Featherstone man had another assist as Cockayne picked up a neat Sykes kick over the top before finding Reece Lyne on the inside to race clear to score. Sykes converted to make the score 28-0 at the break in a dominant first half display.
The second half was a much more cagier of an affair as Agar made a couple of positional changes after his half-time team talk. Reece Lyne moved to the wing with fellow youngster Danny Cowling inside him while Lee Smith came off the bench to play at left centre.
Both sides exchanged scores early on as Featherstone registered their first try of the game through Hardman before Lyne grabbed his second of the game from his new right wing position. Cockayne then missed a difficult conversion.
The second period also saw introductions for Isaac John and Matty Wildie who scored a late try himself as Agar used all seven substitutes in the convincing victory.
The Wildcats continue their preparations for the start of the 2013 Super League season next Sunday when they travel to face St. Helens, kick-off 3pm.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.