posted on 29 April 2016

The Wildcats moved up to seventh in the Super League table as a late Craig Hall try secured a dramatic 18-16 over Widnes Vikings.

In a game littered with ill-discipline, including two red cards and three yellows, the Wildcats took an 8-0 lead into the half-time after a strong defensive effort, but lost Ashley Gibson and Danny Kirmond to injury and looked to be heading for defeat after Rhys Hanbury’s second half try had given Widnes a 16-12 lead.

But Liam Finn’s touchline conversion of Craig Hall’s 79th minute try ensured the Wildcats avenged their opening day defeat to the Vikings and took home the two points.

It took until the after the half hour mark to get the game’s first points, however the opening stages were not without incident.

Having withstood repeated defensive sets on their own line, the Wildcats found themselves a man up after Widnes centre Pat Ah Van was sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle on Ashley Gibson after ten minutes.

Trinity could not make their extra man count though as Widnes held firm until Ah Van returned, and tensions boiled over soon after as both sets of players became embroiled in a scuffle deep inside the Wakefield half.

Referee Joe Cobb consulted with his assistants before showing a red card to both Scott Moore and Aaron Heremaia for their part in the fight, meaning both sides were forced to play the remaining 60 minutes with 12 men.

The Wildcats continued to hold firm in defence, holding out the Viking’s attack on their own goal line on numerous occasions, and got their reward shortly before half time as Anthony Tupou crossed for the first try of the game.

Jacob Miller looked to have broken through on the Widnes 10m line only to have the ball stripped away, but the ball fell into the grateful arms of Tupou who powered his way over from close range.

Finn added the conversion to put his side into a 6-0 lead, and could have scored a try himself just moments later but failed to hang on to Tom Johnstone’s inside pass with the try line ahead of him.

The scrum-half made amends on the stroke of half time though, adding a crucial two points after Widnes had been penalised for interference, ensuring the Wildcats took an 8-0 lead into the break.

The hosts reduced the deficit immediately after the interval though, as Charly Runciman broke down the left hand touchline and scored in the corner.

Hanbury missed the touchline conversion to leave the score at 8-4, and Wakefield stretched their advantage back to six points as Finn added his second penalty from in front of the posts just two minutes later.

The Wildcats were made to pay for consecutive penalties inside their own half shortly afterwards though, as Eamon O’Carroll scored under the posts following Gil Dudson’s offload. Hanbury added the simple conversion to bring the scores level at 10-10.

Ill-discipline at the breakdown continued to dominate the game, as Widnes were again penalised under their own posts. Finn added the two once more to put Trinity 12-10 up after 56 minutes, and Widnes were reduced to 11 men on the hour mark after Lloyd White was sent to the bin for conceding another penalty close to his own line.

Despite being a man down, the hosts got the next score as Hanbury danced his way over near the posts, before converting his own try to make it 16-12. That score put Widnes into the lead for the first time in the game, and they were only denied extending their lead moments later by a superb try saving tackle from Max Jowitt.

The Wildcats pressed for a try late on and when Stefan Marsh became the third Vikings player to be sinned binned for a trip on Jacob Miller, Trinity took full advantage as Hall sprinted in to touch down and bring the scores level.

Finn held his nerve from the touchline and added the extras to give Wakefield a dramatic 18-16 victory.


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