posted on 2 June 2013

An injury ravaged Wildcats side saw victory taken away from them in the final ten minutes by table topping Wigan Warriors.

The Wildcats were downed by Wigan despite a spirited effort.

Wakefield had led by a point going into the final ten minutes thanks to a brace of tries from Danny Kirmond plus scores for Kyle Wood and Dean Collis.

Lee Smith had added a drop goal at the end of the first half but a hat-trick from Josh Charnley led the way for the Warriors who also saw Harrison Hansen, Lee Mossop and Darrell Goulding cross the whitewash.

Injuries forced Richard Agar to shuffle his starting line-up with Wood coming in at scrum-half, Lucas Walshaw into the second-row and Matty Wildie named at hooker.

Charnley opened the scoring on seven minutes, taking in a Goulding pass to finish in the right hand corner.

He got his second of the game on the quarter hour mark, the Warriors again creating the overlap on the right to give the England international a simple run to the corner.

Wakefield had been start of possession in the opening quarter but returned for their first venture towards the Warriors line with points.  Lee Smith’s hanging bomb had forced an error from Sam Tomkins and on the second play of the resultant set, Collis again showed his class to get on the outside of Thornley and score.

Smith again had a major involvement in Kirmond’s try five minutes later, the stand-off running laterally before finding Mathers and the full-back put a lovely short ball into the hands of the skipper who cantered over from five metres.

The Wildcats were holding their own against the table toppers and their enthusiasm in defence was epitomised when four Wakefield defenders forced Charnley into touch as the winger looking to go in for his hat-trick.

That resilient defensive effort brought its rewards when Wood shrugged off some weak Wigan tackling 35 metres out and had enough speed to get to the corner before Sam Tomkins could get to him.

As the hooter sounded at the end of the half and on the first play of the set following a penalty, Lee Smith launched a sweetly struck drop goal to give the host a seven-point lead at the interval.

With the words of Shaun Wane no doubt ringing in their ears, Wigan got the second period off to the perfect start.   Sam Tomkins returned the restart fifty metres and with the Wildcats caught cold, Hansen got over for the try as Wakefield were being marched back towards their own line.

The pessimistic Wakefield fans would have predicted that could have spelled a Wigan onslaught but the Wildcats showed their characted, having few moment of real threat on their own line in the early part of the half.

Soon even the most pessimistic of Wildcats fans may have believed in an upset when Kirmond ran a superb line to take a pass from Wood and scythe through the Wigan defence and go in under the sticks.

Trinity were looking strong as the game entered its final quarter, but the excellent Wood blotted his copybook by sending a kick sailing out on the full to invite pressure from Wigan.  The Warriors weren’t quite at their slickest but Charnley picked up a loose ball and sprinted in from five metres.

The game was in the balance with just a point separating the two sides as it entered the final ten minutes and when Cockayne was pulled up for a forward pass at dummy half, it proved one opportunity too far for the Wildcats defence as Mossop powered onto the pass and got over under the posts.

Goulding crossed late on and Richards added a penalty to give the scoreline a harsh look for the Wildcats excellent efforts.

This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.

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