Wakefield Trinity 12 Hull FC 16: How Trinity were foiled by 12-man Hull

FRUSTRATED Wakefield Trinity boss Willie Poching blamed a costly spell at the start of the second period and a lack of execution for failing to overcome 12-man Hull FC in their rain-sodden Betfred Super League opener.

For large parts of Sunday’s game, his side were suitably dogged in filthy conditions at Belle Vue and they were level 6-6 at the break after Corey Hall’s debut try just before half-time.

However, Hull - who had ex-Leeds Rhinos scrum-half Luke Gale marshalling them expertly on his competitive debut for the club - crucially took the lead again with two quick-fire tries at the start of the second period. Fiji international Joe Lovodua threw an outrageous dummy to slice through untouched on his debut and then Jake Connor’s cut-out pass saw ex-Huddersfield Giants winger Darnell McIntosh also score on his bow.

Gale improved the first of those to leave Hull 16-6 ahead but Wakefield had a glorious chance to hit back once England international Connor was red carded for a high tackle on Lee Gaskell in the 65th minute.

Wakefield Trinity take to the Belle Vue pitch for their opening Super League match of the season against Hull FC. Picture: Tony Johnson/JPIMedia.

Granted, neither Poching nor FC boss Brett Hodgson was sure as to whether the challenge, as Trinity kept the ball alive in midfield, warranted a dismissal.

Nevertheless, the home side - who embarrassed Hull 44-12 at Belle Vue on the last day of last season - could not fully capitalise on their man advantage and were left to rue a missed opportunity.

England winger Tom Johnstone did finish well from Reece Lyne’s assist in the 69th minute, Max Jowitt improving splendidly from wide out.

But half-back Gaskell, another debutant on show, succumbed to an elbow injury soon after and Trinity’s decision-making - including prop David Fifita flinging a pass into touch inside his own 20 - let them down as they went in search of the killer blow.

Wakefield Trinity's Corey Hall touches down on debut in the 16-12 home Super League defeat to Hull on Sunday/ Picture: Tony Johnson/JPIMedia.

“I am frustrated as I thought the effort was outstanding, especially defensively,” said Poching.

“I thought the way they put themselves about, our boys, showed a lot of spirit and unity which is what we’re after.

“We created ourselves some field position on the back of that defensive effort particularly in that first half.

“And we just couldn’t quite get ourselves over the whitewash due to some of our execution and lack of detail that we need to have a look at.

Exciting Wakefield Trinity winger Tom Johnstone got his try tally up and running in the defeat to Hull. Picture: Tony Johnson/JPIMedia.

“We still had an opportunity to rescue it back and get a point or two out of the game but we couldn’t quite finish it off.”

Up front, Matty Ashurst and Jordy Crowther gave fulsome displays and, before his injury, ex-Giants half-back Gaskell showed some smart touches with Mason Lino out injured.

As is often the case on opening weekend, though, the finesse was not quite there when Trinity needed it most.

Poching insisted: “It’s not a case of going back to the drawing board.

“It’s just about fixing it up. It wasn‘t the thought process, just the execution that was disappointing.

“On the back of that, the start of the second half, when they scored two quick tries, we need to have a look at that.

“The first one in particular they didn’t have to work too hard for when he threw a dummy. We’ll have a look at some of that and fix it up but, all in all, I’m really happy with the spirit and effort. If we can replicate that and keep backing it up, week in week out, it’ll look after us more often than not.”

Hall, the 19-year-old centre from Leeds on debut, took his try well after Johnstone picked up Connor’s loose pass to race clear. When full-back Connor, playing despite breaking his hand against Rhinos just a fortnight earlier, was red carded, it should have seen Trinity take command.

Instead, they will have to wait until Perpignan on Saturday to try and get off the mark.

Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt; Lineham, Lyne, Hall, Johnstone; Gaskell, Miller; Fifita, Hood, Arona, Pitts, Ashurst, Crowther. Substitutes: Battye, Batchelor, Tanginoa, Kay.

Hull FC: Connor; McIntosh, Scott, Wynne, Swift; Reynolds, Gale; Sao, Houghton, Fash, Lane, Savelio, Johnstone. Substitutes: Brown, Burrell, Lovouda, Satae.

Referee: Marcus Griffiths (Widnes)