Trinity battled last year’s league leaders St Helens throughout a finely-poised encounter at Belle Vue and the game looked set to be heading for golden point extra-time before Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook touched down to break Wakefield’s hearts with only 130 seconds left.
It was a huge improvement from Trinity’s performance in their opening 42-24 defeat at London Broncos, although they should have made more of a wealth of possession close to Saints’ line.
“To lose in that manner is tough and disappointing, but I thought there was a lot of effort,” said Wakefield coach Chris Chester.
“I thought there was very little between the two teams – a bounce of the ball, a bit of luck and we could well have got the result.
“It wasn’t to be, but I’ve said to the guys if we keep turning up with that kind of effort every week we will win more than we lose.
“We needed a response after last week and we definitely got it, though we are still disappointed we didn’t get the two points.”
Trinity were without forwards Pauli Pauli, James Batchelor and Tyler Randell and lost two more – Craig Huby, who suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder, and Danny Kirmond – during yesterday’s game.
They trailed early on to a try by Morgan Knowles and the first of Mark Percival’s two conversions, but Tom Johnstone replied moments after Danny Brough had been sin-binned for dissent.
Though Tommy Makinson crossed for Saints to make it 10-4, Johnstone’s second try and a Brough conversion levelled the scores at half-time.
Brough booted a penalty early in the second half and Trinity attacked strongly, but were hit on the counter-attack when wingers Regan Grace and Makinson crossed.
With nine minutes left Jacob Miller carved out an opening for Bill Tupou, Brough’s goal equalised and he was off-target with a penalty attempt from halfway after Saints’ restart went out on the full.
Wakefield Trinity: Hampshire, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone, Miller, Brough, Fifita, Wood, England, Ashurst, Kirmond, Arona. Substitutes: Horo, Huby, King, Kopczak.
St Helens: Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles. Substitutes: Paulo, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lees, Amor.
Referee: R Hicks (Oldham).