Hull burst the bubble of Chris Chester’s Wakefield as they secured a sixth win from seven games to move to within two points of the Super League leaders.
Winger Fetuli Talanoa scored four of his side’s eight tries as the Black and Whites ended the Wildcats’ run of five consecutive league and cup wins under their former player with a 46-28 victory at Belle Vue.
Centre Ashley Gibson scored a first-half hat-trick for the home side as they came from 24-6 down to lead 28-24 but Hull just had too much pace and power as they completed the double following their 22-4 win over the Wildcats in Chester’s first game in charge.
Hull were boosted by the return of full-back Jamie Shaul and vastly-experienced trio Leon Pryce, Gareth Ellis and Mark Minichiello and all played significant parts in the win.
Gibson opened the scoring by slicing through a gap in the visitors’ defence for his first try on six minutes but Wakefield lost second rower Anthony Tupou with a facial injury five minutes later and they looked in total disarray as they conceded four tries in the next 12 minutes.
Ellis, who began his professional career at Belle Vue, took a short pass from hooker Danny Houghton to spark the purple patch and Talanoa touched down in acrobatic fashion at the corner after collecting a chip from Marc Sneyd, whose 40-20 kick had set up the attacking position.
When full-back Max Jowitt dropped Sneyd’s “bomb”, prop Josh Bowden was on hand to collect and go over for his side’s third try and Hull were in total control when Pyrce’s cut-out pass got Talanoa over for his second try, with Sneyd kicking his fourth goal to make it 24-6.
It was an uncharacteristic handling error from Ellis that gifted his old club the position to launch their fightback.
Former Hull centre Reece Lyne seized on the loose ball and Miller, another Airlie Birds old boy, produced a long, looping pass to get exciting winger Tom Johnstone in at the corner.
Jowitt then broke from deep inside his own half to set up the position for Liam Finn to send over Gibson, who completed his hat-trick three minutes before the break after more excellent work from the Wakefield half-backs.
Finn’s fourth goal tied the scores and, although he missed a chance to put his side in front when he was wide with a long-range penalty on the stroke of half-time, the home side regained the lead within four minutes of the restart when skipper Danny Kirmond went through some paper-thin defence for his side’s fifth try.
The lead changed hands for a third time in the 47th minute when Talanoa went in for his third try and seven minutes later centre Kirk Yeaman took Shaul’s short pass to cross for Hull’s sixth try, to which Sneyd added his sixth goal.
Play continued to swing from one end to the other but there was no change to the score until Hull finished strongly with two tries in the last seven minutes through Talanoa and Shaul.