Wakefield TRINITY WILDCATS coach Brian Smith sang the praises of the club’s trio of youngsters after they stepped into the breach to help secure a precious 30-12 win over Halifax.
Wakefield coach Brian Smith sang the praises of the club’s trio of youngsters after they stepped into the breach to help secure a precious 30-12 win over Halifax.
Already without four senior players due to disciplinary issues, the Wildcats lost two others, Lee Smith and Ali Lauitiiti, to injury on the eve of the game, prompting the elevation of full-back Max Jowitt for only his third Super League appearance and fellow 19-year-old Jordan Crowther.
Smith also recalled another youngster, Tom Johnstone, and gave a debut to prop Andy Yates, who became the 41st player to be used by the Wildcats this season.
Jowitt marked his home debut with a try and hooker Michael Sio touched down twice as Wakefield secured a top-five finish.
“I’m very proud of them, it was a hard-fought win in difficult circumstances,” Smith said.
“We had a lot of disruption and we asked a lot of particularly the three young guys.
“Jordy Crowther didn’t know he was playing until a few minutes before the game and Max found out last night.
“All three have been training for weeks and weeks without playing so to come in when match unfit and being so young, credit to them.”
Leeds-bound prop Anthony Mullally scored his first try for Wakefield and fellow front rower Mickael Simon also touched down on the stroke of half-time.
Wakefield, who go to Sheffield Eagles next Sunday, could yet secure a top-three finish but are guaranteed at least a place in the Million-Pound match to determine the 12th Super League spot for 2016.
Bradford Bulls edged closer to a quick return to Super League and ended Leigh’s lingering promotion hopes with a 32-16 victory.
Leigh finished six points clear of the Bulls after losing just once in the regular season but it was James Lowes’s men who claimed the spoils when it mattered most.
Winger Danny Williams and centre Matty Blythe both scored two tries as Bradford clinched a third win out of six matches, and they will now almost certainly play in the Million-Pound match to determine the 12th place in Super League for 2016.
Jake Mullaney, who enjoyed a superb game at full-back before being withdrawn late on with a head knock, gave Bradford an early lead and Williams went over for his first to give them a 10-0 lead.
The Centurions came roaring back with two tries in the last four minutes of the first half through winger Adam Higson and full-back Gregg McNally to level the scores but Bradford dominated the second half, with Williams grabbing his second and Blythe going over twice in the final quarter, while Danny Addy kicked six goals.
Bob Beswick pulled a try back for the home side but it could not prevent them sliding to a fifth defeat in six games.