A late Richard Owen try earned the Wildcats victory over Leeds Rhinos in dramatic style.
Owen’s try with less than two minutes on the clock stole the win after earlier tries for Danny Washbrook and Richard Mathers. Leeds had responded through Kallum Watkins, Ryan Hall and Ben Jones-Bishop but Trinity earned the two points.
James Webster shuffled his pack with the absence of Danny Kirmond with Matt Ryan reverting to second-row and Jimmy Keinhorst starting at right centre. Andy Raleigh also came in for Scott Anderson in the only other change. Kevin Sinfield was a late withdrawal for the Rhinos with a back spasm.
There wasn’t much to choose the between the two sides in the opening quarter, Chris Riley having a ‘try’ ruled out by the video referee after Reece Lyne had squeezed out an improbably offload to his winger but had his foot in touch before the ball left his grasp.
Trinity were denied on that occasion but the video referee gave a try the green light on 16 minutes. Tim Smith spotted some space close to the Rhinos line and stabbed a kick which Washbrook chased with enthusiasm and the loose-forward got the ball down under pressure.
The sides were exchanging errors which didn’t allow any real flow to the game but it was the home side with a greater sense of control but only a six-point lead. It was a lead cut to just two points after an error was compounded with a penalty and when within striking distance, Watkins took advantage of the half yard of space he had to get over the line.
Wakefield were looking good to go into the interval ahead but had the lead snatched from their grasp just before the hooter. Tom Briscoe fielded a kick on his own 20 metre line and then sent Jones-Bishop on a weaving 50 metre run that saw him shrug off some tackles en route to outpacing Gilmour to the try line. Sutcliffe converted neither of the first half tries meaning the Rhinos entered the dressing room 8-6 to the good.
A gruelling start to the second half was brought to life on 53 minutes. Godinet’s sharp work around the ruck and half-break won a penalty which the Wildcats kicked to touch. After Scruton took the first drive, Tim Smith changed the direction of attack to Sykes who in turn gave a short inside ball to Mathers who still had some work to do to finish and he did it well, reaching out to score.
Leeds revved up in defence as the Wildcats spend the start of the final quarter looking to make it away from their own line. A run of quick penalties provided Leeds with the opportunity and although the defence didn’t crack, a McGuire kick to the left wing saw Hall tower above Owen to dot down. Sutcliffe’s conversion gave the visitors the lead as the game entered the last ten minutes.
But the Wildcats had one last big play in them and as it so often is, it was Tim Smith to provide it. He switched the attack again and Mathers converted the two on one to give Owen the winning try.