Wakefield missed the chance to move into the Super League top eight after going down 46-28 to Hull FC in an enthralling game at Belle Vue.
Having trailed by 18 points after just half an hour, the Wildcats, playing in front of a crowd of over six and a half thousand, staged a superb comeback in the final minutes of the first half, with three tries in six minutes ensuring the sides went into the break level at 24-24.
However four second half tries for Hull FC, including three for winger Fetuli Talanoa proved enough for Hull FC, and ensured they maintain their top four spot.
The Wildcats got off to the perfect start as returning centre Ashley Gibson crossed after just six minutes, following quick hands from Max Jowitt down the left. Gibson stepped inside two Hull defenders before touching down under the posts, giving Liam Finn an easy conversion to put the home side 6-0 up.
Hull hit back just minutes later though as former Wakefield man Gareth Ellis powered his way over from close range after receiving a short Danny Houghton pass. Marc Sneyd converted the try to level the scores at 6-6, and he was instrumental in the visitor’s next try.
The scrum-half’s cross field kick was collected by Talanoa, who touched down in the corner despite pressure from Ben Jones-Bishop. Sneyd converted from the touchline to give his side a 12-6 lead.
Hull extended their lead to 18-6 just after the 20 minute mark, as Sneyd’s high kick rebounded into the arms of prop Josh Bowden, who powered his way over under the posts, before Talanoa crossed for his second out wide just four minutes later.
Sneyd once again converted from the left hand touchline to make it four from four and give Hull a 24-6 lead.
The Wildcats, buoyed by a sell-out crowd, responded in perfect fashion, as in-form Tom Johnstone crossed for his ninth try of the season just after the half hour mark.
Reece Lyne picked up the loose ball on Hull’s 20 metre line after strong defence had forced a Hull error, before making his way across field and feeding Jacob Miller. The Australian floated a long pass wide to Johnstone on the left, who raced in to touch down and reduce the deficit to 12 following Finn’s conversion.
Trinity continued to press and pulled another try back just two minutes later, as Max Jowitt’s break from the half way line lead to Gibson going over for his second of the afternoon under the posts.
Finn converted the try, and the Wildcats were level just before half-time as Gibson completed his hat-trick after waltzing through the left side of Hull’s defence once again.
Finn brought the scores level at 24-24 with his fourth conversion, and could have given his side the lead at the break, but saw his long range penalty attempt drift just wide.
Having finished the first half with a flourish, Wakefield started the second in the same vain, as captain Danny Kirmond proved too strong for the Hull defence and crashed over for his side’s fifth try of the afternoon.
Finn was unlucky to see his conversion bounce off the posts, and the end-to-end nature of the game continued as Hull regained the lead just three minutes later.
Talanoa completed his hat-trick out wide after good handling from Liam Watts had kept the ball alive, before Kirk Yeaman crossed for Hull’s sixth try of the game. Sneyd converted both tries to maintain his 100% record and extend his side’s lead to 36-28.
Trinity pressed for a try to get back into the game, however Hull had the final say as Talanoa and Shaul both crossed the line wide out on the left late on.
Sneyd lost his perfect record from the tee, missing the first of the two conversions, but it was ultimately too much for the Wildcats as Hull ran out 46-28 winners.