In their warm-up ahead of yesterday’s meeting with Hull KR one word being banded about by the Wakefield Trinity players was “pride”.
That is something they haven’t shown a great deal of this season, which is why Trinity went into the game bottom of the Super League table, behind Rovers on points difference.
Wakefield’s commitment, to the club, each other and their coach, has been questioned, but something now seems to be stirring in the Trinity camp and three days after a hard-fought 18-14 victory over Huddersfield Giants ended their 10-match losing run, they completed back-to-back wins, for the first time since April last year.
The 48-18 scoreline was in itself eye-catching, but the manner of Wakefield’s performance was even more impressive.
Against, it has to be said, poor opposition, Trinity led 26-0 at half-time and ran in nine tries in all.
Rovers fought back in the third quarter and with 19 minutes left only 12 points separated the teams, but Wakefield held their nerve and finished strongly, with three late touchdowns.
Hull KR’s latest defeat left them propping up the table and favourites to collect the wooden spoon.
They did make a game of it for 20 minutes after the interval, but their first half effort was dire and the 30-point margin was a fair reflection.
In an all-round team performance by Trinity, centre Reece Lyne was the star of the show, scoring a brace of tries and providing the final pass for two of his winger Ben Jones-Bishop’s hat-trick.
There were also notable efforts from Max Jowitt, the starting front-row of Dave Fifita, Jordan Crowther and Tinirau Arona and debutant loose-forward Brad Walker.
Wakefield will have been disappointed to concede three second half tries, but the only real blot on their afternoon was injuries to Tony Gigot and Matty Ashurst which are likely to rule them out of Thursday’s derby against Leeds Rhinos.
A few weeks ago, Wakefield would have gone into that game hoping to keep the score respectable, but if they can repeat yesterday’s effort, which won’t be easy in their third fixture in a week, they can have higher aspirations.
Rovers did not compete in the first period, when their left-side defence was given a torrid time by Lyne and Jones-Bishop.
Gigot ran in the opening touchdown from a one-two with Ashurst and Lyne scored a wonderful try in the next set, finishing off a flowing handling move by stepping and accelerating his way to the corner.
Lyne crossed again from a pass by the impressive Max Jowitt, who then produced a nice cut-out ball to send Jones-Bishop in.
Wakefield’s next try was another stunning effort. Tom Johnnstone intercepted Jamie Ellis’ pass near Wakefield’s line, ran across to the other flank where Lyne kept up the charge and Jones-Bishop was in support to cross again.
Rovers’ first try, soon after the break, was also a quality effort, Jordan Abdull touching down from a one-two with Ben Crooks.
Jones-Bishop’s third try seemed to have made the game safe for Trinity, but Jamie Ellis scored from his own kick before Crooks finished brilliantly at the corner.
All three tries were converted by Ellis, leaving Hull KR only two scores adrift, but Adam Tangata strolled over for a scrappy six-pointer to calm Wakefield’s nerves and the hosts finished in style with two more touchdowns in the final five minutes.
Big forward Kelepi Tanginoa could have scored off good work by Kyle Wood, but instead passed to Ryan Hampshire behind Hull KR’s line and then Eddie Battye dived between the posts to cap a morale-boosting afternoon for the hosts, with Hampshire’s sixth conversion completing the scoring.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone, Hampshire, Gigot, Fifita, Crowther, Arona, Ashurst, Batchelor, B Walker. Subs K Wood, Tangata, Battye, Tanginoa.
Hull KR: Tate, Crooks, Kenny-Dowall, Livett, Dagger, Abdull, Ellis, Murray, Minchella, King, Gee, Peteru, Mulhern. Subs Handley, Trout, Lewis, Maher.
Referee: S Mikalauskas (Leigh).
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