The Wildcats battled back to win as they claimed an important two points with a victory over London Broncos.
Played in atrocious conditions after a 20 minute deluge at the start of the game, London deservedly led 10-4 at the interval after Danny Kirmond’s opening score was cancelled out by Matt Cook and Thomas Minns.
Trinity played the conditions much better in the second half and after Daniel Smith powered over and Paul Sykes kicked the Wildcats ahead with a penalty, Matt Ryan celebrated his birthday with the match clinching score some seven minutes from time.
James Webster named Tim Smith at scrum-half where he was partnered by Paul Sykes with Taulima Tautai returning from the replacements bench.
After a dry and humid day the two sides ran out for the game to be greeted by a deluge of rain and the opening ten minutes set the tone for the game with a series of errors from either side. It was the Wildcats that kept hold of possession for long enough for the familiar sight of a Tim Smith pass putting Kirmond powering through a hole and over the line.
That was as good as it got for Trinity in the first half as the Broncos simply played the awful conditions much better than their hosts. On 18 minutes the sides exchanged knock-ons and when the ball was hacked through it flew off the knee of a sliding Richard Mathers and sat kindly over the try line for Cook to dot down.
The Broncos went back-to-back with another messy try. Vea broke clear through the middle of the Wildcats defence and when the ball was shifted wide, Macani squirted a short kick into the grasp of Minns who had a simple task of diving over. Drinkwater could only convert one of the two scores to give the hosts a six-point cushion.
It was a cushion they were fully deserving of, managing the conditions and committing the fewer errors. With Trinity pinned back in their own half they were too guilty of errors but much closer to their own line and when they did finally get some late possession in the London half, Tim Smith’s kick was gathered by Alex Foster who offloaded to George Griffin and only a desperate chase from Richard Owen hauled him down.
The Wildcats came out in the second half and through the boot of Tim Smith controlled field possession much better without truly threatening the Broncos try line. A breakthrough came on the hour mark when Tim Smith hoisted a kick to the corner that Richard Owen flicked back to Walshaw. He looped the pass to Sykes who in turn found the scrum-half once more. As the Broncos defenders rushed towards him, Smith showed neat footwork to get a yard of space and find the pass that put namesake Daniel over the line.
Sykes kicked the sides level with the conversion and put the Wildcats in front on 71 minutes as an over eager Broncos defensive line were pulled up for offside and the former London man put the 35 metre penalty between the uprights.
London turned down a simple two points of their own minutes later and after an error invited Trinity up the pitch, Ryan was on hand to profit from some calamitous London defence as they failed to clear a hopeful Mathers chip and the Australian was in the right place at the right time to celebrate his birthday with the match winning score.