WAKEFIELD TRINITY WILDCATS avenged their Challenge Cup defeat earlier in the year with a thrilling 17-16 victory at Leigh Centurions in the First Utility Super League Qualifiers.
Leigh Centurions 16
Wakefield Wildcats 17
by Peter Smith
The Kingstone Press Championship side led 16-6 late in the first half, but two solo tries from Jacob Miller and a Lee Smith drop goal edged Wildcats home.
Wildcats took an early lead when Lee Smith swooped over for a try from Bill Tupou’s offload.
Smith - who has been an inspired late-season signing - also converted, but Fuifui Moimoi’s powerful finish got Leigh on the board and then Jonathan Pownall touched down for a try which Martyn Ridyard improved.
The Championship outfit went 10 points clear when Ridyard kicked deep from a scrum near Leigh’s line and Liam Kay, dribbled the ball on before touching down.
Ridyard added the extras, but Wildcats grabbed a lifeline through Miller’s first try, the stand-off displaying great footwork to step through from Pita Godinet’s pass.
There was no goal, but Miller scored an almost identical second at the end of the third quarter and Smith’s goal squared the scores.
Wildcats were reduced to 12 men when Michael Sio was sin-binned for an alleged crusher tackle on Greg McNally, but Lee Smith booted them ahead moments later with a well-taken drop goal.
Chris Riley had a touchdown ruled out by the video referees with nine minutes left, but Wakefield managed to keep Leigh out of drop goal range through the tense final stages.
It was Leigh’s third defeat in the Qualifiers and a second Wildcats win which keeps them on course to retain their Super League status.