Yesterday’s 38-12 demolition of Huddersfield Giants was their second victory in eight days and even more comprehensive than the 38-12 scoreline suggests.
Despite being under huge pressure for much of the opening quarter, Wakefield led 30-0 at half-time and were 38-0 ahead with two minutes left, before Giants scored back-to-back tries to salvage a slight measure of respectability.
The game went a little flat in the second half, but for the opening 40 minutes Wakefield were outstanding, defending with incredible tenacity, particularly when a man down and proving lethal on attack
On the back of a series of penalties and repeat sets, Giants had enough possession and territory to score several tries early on, but – without key pivot Lee Gaskell – they had no creativity.
They also made too many errors and, at times, their defence looked disinterested.
Huddersfield trailed from the fifth minute when an enthusiastic chase forced Leroy Cudjoe to concede a drop out and in that set, Wakefield moved the ball from one side of the field to the other as Joe Westerman’s long pass found Miller and he looped the ball over the defence to Liam Kay, who dived in for a spectacular finish at the corner.
Mason Lino’s conversion was just as good and Trinity then proved their defence was in fine shape by surviving six sets near their own line, from a penalty, two six-agains, another penalty, Wakefield knock-on and then a drop out.
Directly from that, James Gavet drove the ball in and then dropped it, which summed up Giants’ first-half effort, but Trinity were back on their line almost immediately as Aidan Sezer sliced through the middle, but was halted, illegally, by Miller just short.
The Wakefield captain was sin-binned for the professional foul, but Giants – despite yet another penalty – rarely looked like finding a way through Trinity’s defence and when Kenny Edwards did get over the line, Darnell McIntosh’s pass was forward.
Having survived all that pressure, Wakefield doubled their lead while Miller was off the field
A penalty carried them up field and they showed Giants how it should be done when Kelepi Tanginoa crashed over from close range.
That seemed to knock some of the spirit out of Giants and they collapsed in the final stages of the half.
Soon after returning from the sin-bin, Miller hoisted a towering kick which Giants full-back McIntosh dropped and Trinity added their third try in the subsequent set, which was prolonged by a six-again.
Jay Pitts scored it, moments after he had been held up over the line, by stretching over powerfully from Westerman’s smart pass on 31 minutes.
Three later, in a penalty set, Westerman capped a fine opening spell by going over from close-range and then in the final minute Wakefield kept the ball alive from deep in their own territory, Max Jowitt kicked towards the line and Tupou ran through to touch down
Lino maintained his 100 per cent conversion rate and the only question in the second half was whether Giants could make the scoreline respectable.
Trinity twice held up Giants attackers over their line in the first 15 minutes after the interval and they wasted a series of opportunities on attack; when Kay couldn’t take Jowitt’s pass a few metres out; Kay sent Tupou over, but the winger had knocked-on first; Lee Kershaw was tackled into touch and Kay was dragged over the whitewash when he had support inside.
But the next try, when it came early in the final quarter, was a stunning long-range effort.
Kershaw began it by intercepting McIntosh’s pass near Trinity’s line, Reece Lyne was in support and he found Jowitt who sent Kay over on the opposite side and at the other end of the field from where the move began.
Lino’s kick bounced away off the cross bar, but with six minutes left, Joe Greenwood hurled a pass straight at home near Wakefield’s line and the Samoan raced the full length of the field to score.
He handed over kicking duties to Jowitt, who missed the simple conversion.
Trinity’s hopes of keeping a clean sheet were dashed when Sezer sent Gavet over in the 78th minute and on the last play Jake Wardle touched down, Sezer converting both, but that was no real consolation for Giants after a slipshod performance from start to almost finish.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Kershaw, Lyne, Tupou, Kay, Miller, Lino, Arona, B Walker, Tanginoa, Ashurst, Pitts, Westerman. Substitutes: Fifita, K Wood, Battye, Batchelor.
Huddersfield Giants: McIntosh, McGillvary, Jake Wardle, Leutele, Cudjoe, Cogger, Sezer, Gavet, Cunningham, Greenwood, Edwards, Jones, Lawrence. Substitutes: O’Brien, Trout, English, McQueen.
Referee: R Hicks (Oldham).
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