The Wildcats booked their place in the fifth round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup with an eleven try victory over Hemel Stags.
Whilst the Wildcats were never in danger of losing the match, the spirited effort put up by the Stags was outstanding and earned a rousing reception at the full-time hooter from all corners of the ground.
Debutant Jon Molloy went over the whitewash twice on debut whilst there were also braces for Liam Kay and Lee Smith who was immaculate with the boot, kicking nine successful conversions.
There were further scores for captain Justin Poore, Matty Wildie, Frankie Mariano, Kyle Trout and youngster Ben Shulver who made his first team debut alongside Dan Maskill.
Justin Poore captained a Wildcats side that saw a number of changes from their last outing against Warrington. Lyne started at full-back with Kay, Walshaw and Cowling getting their first outings of the season in the three-quarters whilst Smith partnered Wood in the halves.
Molloy made his debut in a back-row which also contained Frankie Mariano and Kyle Trout with under 19’s duo Ben Shulver and Dan Maskill making their first team debuts from the bench.
Hemel started full of enthusiasm and in the opening ten minutes they certainly seemed to have the edge on the Wildcats in that department. But Kay sparked the hosts into life when he picked up at dummy half and broke the attempted tackles before handing on to Molloy who scored on debut.
Just a couple of minutes later and the Wildcats were in again, Wildie sharp at hooker and scampering over from 10 metres. The two quick-fire scores had knocked the wind out of the sails of the Stags and when Wildie popped up a pass to a rampaging Poore and he was never going to be stopped from five metres out.
Shulver entered the fray in place of Trout shortly after and he like the rest of the Wildcats team were helpless to prevent the moment the Stags players and supporters had hoped for. Small threw his hand out at Smith’s pass and it sat up nicely for the center who sprinted 60 metres under the sticks at the Fleetmaster North Stand to cheers from both sets of fans.
It was hardly a bombardment on the Stags line at this stage and the game was proving a frustrating watch from a Trinity point of view. However, Wood’s short ball found a charging Mariano and he was too big and too strong for the Stags defence, running over the top of the full-back en route to the try line to complete the half’s scoring.
Smith used sheer strength to go over from close range early in the second half but Hemel’s spirit wasn’t broken and at one stage neither was their defence for three successive sets.
Kay was put it on the overlap and despite the valiant efforts of the Stags full-back, he got the ball down. A dummy from Wood saw him through a gap and Molloy was on his scrum-half’s shoulder to get his second of the evening.
Troy Perkins’ side refused to yield but the Wildcats superior fitness was beginning to show with Trout first reaching out to claim a try of his own before getting out an unlikely offload on the line to give Smith a walk in under the posts.
Arguably the moment of the match came with ten minutes remaining as Wildie broke through the line and Shulver supported, racing 30 metres to score under the sticks in front of the Fleetmaster North Stand, a moment to cherish for the 17-year old.
Kay finished off a move that he started when he put Lyne in the clear to give the Wildcats a 60 point margin of victory and safe passage to the next round of the competition.
But it was the chant of ‘Hemel’ that first came from all sides of the ground, the Championship 1 side out on their feet after a fantastic effort.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.