LUCKLESS Wakefield Trinity must be beginning to wonder when their losing run – the longest in the British game – will ever finally end.
In all fairness, it should have done last night as Chris Chester’s side had worked themselves into a positive position at struggling Huddersfield Giants only to implode and fall to an 11th successive defeat.
They had fought back from an early 8-0 deficit to take a 16-8 interval lead – including a brilliant 80m solo try from winger Ben Jones-Bishop – and still held that after an hour.
However, having absorbed plenty of pressure at the start of the second period, they failed to attempt a simple penalty goal to stretch that advantage and, soon after, were crucially made to pay.
Huddersfield came to life with three tries in six minutes, Ukuma Ta’ai starting the recovery by plundering over in the 62nd minute.
Oliver Roberts then crashed over for the critical score three minutes later, exploiting some poor defence close to Trinity’s line to put Giants ahead.
YP rugby league writer, Dave Craven
Although Danny Brough pulled his conversion attempt embarrassingly wide, the Scotland captain soon atoned by scampering clear from deep and angling a kick to the corner for Jermaine McGillvary to finish Wakefield off.
Brough found his range to make the touchline kick, an effort which also took him to 3,440 career points, replacing ex-York and Featherstone player Steve Quinn in 10th place in the sport’s all-time leading points scorers list.
Huddersfield had enjoyed a quickfire start with youngster Sam Wood scoring two tries in the opening 10 minutes.
The 19-year-old centre was only playing as captain Leroy Cudjoe had failed to shake off a knee problem suffered in defeat to Salford.
However, initially, it did not seem Giants would miss their England international.
Wood surged onto a lovely delayed pass from Brough to score the first Super League try of his career in the fifth minute and, after Liam Finn sailed the restart dead, he was in again soon after.
Sebastine Ikahihifo powered close but, once the big prop was stopped close to their line, there was no way Wakefield should have allowed Kruise Leeming to twist out of dummy half and send Wood crashing in again.
However, Brough failed to improve either score so the damage was not too severe on Chester’s side.
When Finn atoned for his earlier error by dummying over from acting-half with alarming ease in the 14th minute, they were instantly lifted.
Sam Williams’s conversion attempt hit a post but, as Giants’ discipline waned with a series of needless penalties, Wakefield’s confidence grew.
Bill Tupou thought he had got over but they were brought back for a Miller forward pass while prop Craig Huby – who excelled in his first return to Huddersfield after a difficult spell there – was held up over the goalline after one powerful charge.
However, Jones-Bishop’s moment of magic helped put them ahead.
Ta’ai dropped possession straining for the line and Jacob Miller picked up before immediately shipping the ball wide to Williams who, in turn found the winger.
He set off on a mazy run, beating numerous Giants defenders, then the referee Chris Kendall before turning McGillvary inside out and leaving the England winger on his backside.
Williams converted and, as Giants continually made life difficult for themselves, he tagged on another penalty.
Jones-Bishop then scored his second try in the 39th minute.
McGillvary, who was clearly struggling with an injury suffered earlier in the game, forced an offload just inside his own half which went straight to a Wakefield player.
Moments later, the ball was moved to the right where former Hull FC centre Reece Lyne showed real class to flick out a pass for ex-Leeds Rhinos star Jones-Bishop to secure his 99th career score.
When Lyne and Jones-Bishop bundled Ikahihifo into touch just before the hour, Huddersfield looked beaten.
That was especially so when Brough forced a line-out only for McGillvary to spill when diving over the line.
However, the visitors tired badly in that final quarter and it meant an unhappy return for Scott Grix, Huby – particularly impressive last night – and Kyle Wood who all left Huddersfield for Wakefield at the end of last season.
Jones-Bishop also departed late on dazed with a suspected broken jaw while it is now seven months since their last win, a 30-28 success at Catalans Dragons last July.
They head to St Helens next Friday so life does not get any easier while Huddersfield – after responding to last week’s dire loss to Salford – are at home for a third successive week, entertaining Hull FC next Thursday.
Huddersfield Giants: Gaskell; McGillvary, Wood, Mellor, Murphy; Brough, Brierley; Rapira, Leeming, Ikahihifo, Ta’ai, Ferguson, Hinchcliffe. Substitutes: Wakeman, Roberts, Clough, Smith.
Wakefield Trinity: Grix; Johnstone, Lyne, Tupou, Jones-Bishop; Miller, Williams; Fifita, Finn, England, Ashurst, Kirmond, Huby. Substitutes: K Wood, Arona, Crowther, Walker.
Referee: C Kendall (Huddersfield).