Wakefield Trinity Wildcats beat a strong Featherstone Rovers side 34-20 in blustery conditions at Belle Vue Stadium.
From the kick off, the home side piled on the pressure forcing Rovers back into their own half with Tim Smith’s strong kicking game pinning the travelling side back. Within minutes of kicking off one of Tim Smith’s bombs bounced in front of Rovers’ Ian Hardman towards Johnstone who took the advantage. Craig Hall converted to make it 6-0.
A forward pass from Rovers gave Wakefield a penalty, not long after Featherstone were themselves awarded a penalty to relieve the pressure, however Tim Smith came back with one of his kicks, Craig Hall forced Featherstone to drop out.
Nick Scruton who had been named in the 23 man squad after coming back from injury was taken off after 18 minutes after picking up a knock to his shoulder, Mickael Simon replaced the Prop.
Rovers made a few changes with Sam Irwin and Paul Wood being replaced by Andy Ellis and Matt James on 20 minutes, this switched up their style of play and led to extensive pressure on the Wakefield try line.
A few sloppy mistakes were made by both sides towards the end of the first half, the first came from Wakefield when Dean Collis had a break down the right side, however he dropped the ball as he went to play it and gave Featherstone the possession, this was not for long as Gareth Moore could not take the advantage and it was kicked out on the full. A penalty in the middle of the field for Featherstone allowed them to push through into the Wakefield half, the ball was dropped however Reece Lyne's break for Wakefield was pulled back by referee James Child for a knock on.
McShane created a lovely show and go before he passed to Matt Ryan who scored Wakefields second try of the game, Craig Hall converted to double the lead 12-0.
Featherstone looked to score on half time after a poor pass from Smith to Miller who knocked on and allowed Featherstone to regather after which they tried a short kick but the Wakefield defence showed strength to recollect.
The second half showed for an interesting watch as Featherstone Rovers fought back and piled on a lot of pressure. It resulted in winning a penalty after Tom Johnstone raced away from his own line but was brought back. Not long after Will Sharp scored a try for Featherstone after he got on the end of a Gareth Moore kick, Paul Sykes couldn’t convert in the gale force wind leaving the game poised at 12-4.
Not long after a grubber kick by Paul Sykes bounced off the post and into the sight of Liam Warmsley who scored their second try of the game, Paul Sykes converted to make them two points behind the home side at 12-10.
It didn’t take long for Wakefield to increase the lead with Danny Kirmond collecting his own charge down, he barged past the Featherstone defence to score with Craig Hall converting to put Wakefield into a further lead of 18-10.
It was a feisty last 15 minutes of the second half, Owen made a couple of mistakes for Wakefield which allowed Featherstone to gain back the possession and Nathan Chappell scored a Featherstone try in the corner, Paul Skyes missed his second conversion of the day, 18-14. Jarrod Sammut who had just made his way back onto the field after he replaced Chris Annakin sliced through the Rovers defence to score his first try of the game for Wakefield; Craig Hall converted to make it a 10 point difference, 24-14.
At the start of play Chris Annakin could not deal with the kick from Featherstone and gifted the travelling side a try, Moore did not fail with his conversion and made it 28-20.
However Wakefield took back control of the game and ended it with a further two try’s; the first from Craig Hall who picked up the ball from the middle of the field and out ran the Rovers defence. He failed to convert his own try after the wind took hold of the ball once again to make it go wide, 28-20. The second was in the very last bit of play when Jarrod Sammut won back the ball and sprinted down the pitch to score his second try of the game, Craig Hall converted to end the game on 34-20.