HULL FC 30-32 WAKEFIELD TRINITY WILDCATS
Sunday, 10 June 2012
Hull FC found themselves on the end of a remarkable fight back from Wakefield Wildcats as they fell to a narrow 32-30 defeat at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
In an exciting first half the Black and Whites took control through Willie Manu, Brett Seymour and Ben Crooks, but the Wildcats ensured they would remain in the game at the break responding with two of their own through Dean Collis and Peter Fox.
Hull looked to still be in the driving seat midway through the second period after a brace from returning centre Kirk Yeaman, but a stunning second half spell from the hosts turned the game on its head.
Paul Sykes first crossed before Danny Washbrook followed suit against his former club, with Kyle Amor’s 61st minute try really making a game of it.
Both sides continued to fight desperately for the next score before Ali Lauititi finally rounded off a remarkable fight back as he completed a fine move with just nine minutes to play and Hull had nothing left in the tank to find any response before the hooter sounded.
Hull FC head coach Peter Gentle was forced to do without long serving half back Richard Horne for the trip to the Rapid Solicitors Stadium with the stand off missing out with a recurrence of a groin injury, giving young half back Jamie Ellis another chance to shine.
However, the Black and Whites were boosted by the return of England centre Kirk Yeaman following a lengtyh spell on the side lines, whilst Willie Manu, Jordan Turner and Richard Whiting were all passed fit having been doubtful during the week.
Former Hull coach Richard Agar was without new captain Danny Kirmond for the much anticipated clash against his former club, with another old Black and White Danny Washbrook also named in the starting line-up alongside former Hull KR players Ben Cockayne and Peter Fox.
The game started in the best possible fashion for the visitors as Cockayne knocked on from Danny Tickle’s kick off in front of a huge travelling support and they almost made it count with youngster Ben Crooks falling just short in the right corner.
Eventually, after a bruising opening eleven minutes, Hull finally broke the deadlock as Jamie Ellis’ opportunist approach to collecting his own ricocheting kick helped set up an unstoppable charge from Willie Manu who smashed his way past three despairing tackles before slamming the ball down next to the posts in now trademark style.
Tickle added the extras before notching up a further two from a comfortable penalty to become Hull’s seventh all-time points scorer, as the Black and Whites looked to take full control of the game.
Sloppy errors from both sides didn’t help the rhythm of the game in the early stages with both sets of players guilty of some simple mistakes, but it was Peter Gentle’s men the remained the most threatening against a far from probing Wakefield attack and it wasn’t long before they extended their lead.
Half back Brett Seymour was the beneficiary as he cruised through a gaping hole in the Wildcats defence to claim one of his easiest scores of the season in front of a sea of Black and White shirts, who were more than animated as they broke into a chorus of Old Faithful for the first time in the afternoon.
The hosts responded well though and having produced a period of sustained pressure in the Hull half, centre Dean Collis crept in at the far right hand corner in the nick of time to touch down Tim Smith’s deft grubber kick.
The try kick started Wakefield’s best spell in the game moving the ball around at will as they looked to punish a succession of penalties conceded by their opponents, yet they would be left to rue their an ability to forge any further scoring opportunities as a lapse in concentration would allow FC to further their lead.
With the distraction of an altercation between Manu and a number of Wakefield players off the ball following a tackle on the left, referee Ganson allowed play to continue and the Black and Whites took full advantage as they swept in down the opposite flank to see 18-year-old Ben Crooks continue his strong start to life in the first-team with his third try in six appearances.
However, with just a minute to the break, back came the Wildcats in an entertaining first period as Peter Fox latched on to a break from Smith and Cockayne on half way to race down field for an unchallenged try between the posts to leave the score 18-10 at the turn.
The scoring continued upon the restart as the returning Kirk Yeaman bagged a brace within just four sets as Hull blew away their opponents, helped by further costly mistakes from the Wildcats.
First, a cheap knock on at the play-the-ball just three tackles in allowed Seymour to steer Yeaman barraging his way over for the first, before Richie Mathers uncharacteristic failure to deal with a testing high ball allowed the Hull born and bred centre, who launches his testimonial next weekend, to scoop up an Ellis kick in the in-goal area to touch down for his second.
But if you thought it was going to be a one sided second half, think again, as Wakefield dug deep to respond once more and in a valiant fifteen minute spell they fought back within just two points courtesy of three quick fire tries.
The first came from a fortuitous bounce of the ball on a last tackle kick with Paul Sykes crossing for a try he converted himself, before Washbrook enjoyed a moment to remember as he scored against his only other professional club as he rolled his way out of a tackle just yards from the line to race in for a simple score.
Guilty of not clearing their lines effectively, the Black and Whites remained on the back foot and soon after the afro laden Kyle Amor stretched over from close range to leave the game on a knife edge to the delight of the home supporters who finally found voice.
Wakefield remained in the ascendency although there would be no further scores and whilst Hull rallied in defence there was no answer to a superbly constructed Wildcats try as Ali Lauititi ran the perfect line to gather Smith’s flat pass to give the hosts the lead for the first time in the match with just over seven minutes to play.
Both sides continued to fight hard for the next score but Hull looked to have run out of steam late on as Wakefield hung on for a memorable comeback, condemning the Black and Whites to defeat in another game they should have won.
Hull FC: Russell, Crooks, Turner, Yeaman, Briscoe, Ellis, Seymour, Lynch, Houghton, Moa, Manu, Tickle, Westerman | Aspinwall, Pitts, O’Carroll, Whiting
Hull FC Tries: Manu, Seymour, Crooks, Yeaman (2)
Hull FC Goals: Tickle (5/6)
Wakefield Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Mellars, Cockayne, Sykes, Smith, Amor, Aiton, Raliegh, Lauititi, Walshaw, Washbrook | Wood, Wilkes, Southern, Trout
Wakefield Wildcats Tries: Collis, Fox, Sykes, Washbrook, Amor, Lauitiiti
Wakefield Wildcats Goals: Sykes (4/6)
Referee: Steve Ganson