Smiles are returning to Wildcats as they eye play-off spot

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats' Paul Sykes.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats' Paul Sykes.
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WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats’ match-winner Paul Sykes admits he felt for fellow goalkicker Danny Tickle after his side earned another dramatic win against Widnes Vikings.

The West Yorkshire club extended their unbeaten run under new coach James Webster to five matches with a 12-10 victory over eighth-placed opponents who are now firmly in their sights.

Timmy Smith and Nick Scruton scored second-half tries for Wakefield and, crucially, they were both improved by 
ex-England international Sykes.

Tickle, however, the prolific former Hull FC second-row, fluffed the simple conversion attempt of his own try in the 18th minute – a miss that eventually proved costly for the visitors.

“That can happen to anyone,” Sykes told The Yorkshire Post.

“I’ve missed easy kicks like that before and seen us lose out and it’s not nice.

“Luckily, this time though, I didn’t and we won by just two points.

“It’s great at the moment. Everyone’s playing with a smile on their face and working hard for each other.”

This was never more true than when Sykes and three other defenders scrambled to deny Patrick Ah Van a last-minute try.

But the former Bradford Bulls stand-off, who turns 33 next month, knows the bigger examination is to come.

Their four wins and a draw under Webster have all come at Belle Vue, meaning all eyes will now be on how they fare when they make their first away trip to Perpignan in a week.

“It’s a big test for us but at the same time we’re confident of going there and turning Catalan over,” said Sykes, who is also playing for a new deal with the club.

“We’re going over on Thursday which is a bit earlier for us; we’ll get some sun on our backs and enjoy some time together.

“Given all the ball they had, we could have been 30 points down in the first half against Widnes rather than just four-nil.

“The way we defended showed our spirit and we know we can chase teams down in the eight with a couple more wins.

“Webbo really regathered us at half-time. He gave us a quick chat and we turned it around.”

Wakefield are now just two points behind Widnes with seven games of the regular season remaining.