HONOURS ended even in the two big Boxing Day friendly encounters.
Bobbie Goulding’s penalty with the final kick of the game secured an 18-18 draw for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at Leeds Rhinos in their Festive Challenge.
And Castleford winger Richard Owen scored four tries as they drew 30-30 with Halifax in Tigers prop Craig Huby’s testimonial.
Rhinos’ Australian forward Brett Delaney faces a scan today after taking a bang to a rib in the second half.
Coach Brian McDermott said: “He looks sore at the moment, but, hopefully, that’s all it is.”
Rhinos went into the game without a specialist senior prop after Ryan Bailey withdrew due to an Achilles problem.
Leeds fielded a new-look half-back pairing of Liam Sutcliffe and Zak Hardaker, who was captain for the day and was playing his first game since he left England’s World Cup squad and was fined by the Rhinos for unprofessional behaviour.
Coach Richard Agar believes Wakefield’s first pre-season fixture “served its purpose”.
The Headingley game, which attracted a crowd of 8,909, came more than six weeks before their Super League opener at Salford Red Devils, on February 16.
Agar said: “It is early days, it was a case of blowing a few cobwebs off and having a good run and I thought we had some good individual efforts. All in all, it served its purpose.
“Everybody got a good run out, we’ve had a look at some of our new guys and it gives us something we can put in front of them on video.”
The coach praised former Leeds duo Daniel Smith and Paul McShane, whom he says is “going to be a real asset for us.”
At Wheldon Road, Owen’s first two tries helped the Super League side take a 22-14 half-time lead in their opening pre-season game but Championship outfit Halifax roared back after the interval.
Former Batley winger Gareth Potts, making his Halifax debut, grabbed a hat-trick of tries as the visitors took the lead.
Castleford levelled two minutes from time with Owen’s fourth but Kirk Dixon failed to convert from the touchline and the 3,621 crowd had to be content with a draw.
The Tigers had fielded six new signings, including a new half-back combination of Luke Dorn and Marc Sneyd, who is on a season-long loan from Salford City Reds.
Batley Bulldogs won 10-4 at Dewsbury Rams in the traditional Heavy Woollen Boxing Day match, Luke Blake returning to haunt his former club with the winning try late on for new club Batley.