A BEN Cockayne hat-trick wasn't enough to stop Wakefield Trinity Wildcats falling to a 32-14 defeat against Huddersfield Giants at a sun-drenched Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Sunday.
Cockayne's treble kept Wildcats in with a shout of causing an upset against the Giants until the last 15 minutes, when Nathan Brown's men took advantage of some sloppy defending from the hosts to claim two points and climb to top spot in Super League.
Defeat left Richard Agar's side without a win since their opening-day success against Widnes Vikings and things get no easier for the Wildcats next week when they visit high-flying Warrington Wolves.
The visitors were always on-top and they soared into a 10-0 lead thanks to two Jermaine McGillvary tries, former Wildcat Danny Brough converting one of the efforts.
Wakefield needed a response and they got one from Cockayne before half-time, crossing in the corner after some sustained pressure on the Huddersfield line. On a day Wakefield used three different kickers, Cockayne stepped up to try and add the extras to his own try but failed.
The half belonged to Huddersfield, however, with Larne Patrick adding another try before Brough kicked a penalty on the stroke of half-time to give Giants an 18-4 lead at the break.
Wildcats came flying out of the traps in the second half, eager to mount an unlikely second-half comeback - but they did just that. Cockayne crossed twice out on the left for two carbon-copy tries, Isaac John providing the crucial pass for both, to get Wakefield right back in the contest. Tim Smith missed the first conversion before John stepped up to successfully convert the second and bring the hosts to within four points of their visitors.
It was as close as they were to come as Giants added 14 points without reply in the latter stages to run out comprehensive winners. Joe Wardle crossed twice and Kev Brown also got in on the act to help send Huddersfield top of the table and leave Wakefield eleventh with just one win from their five matches so far this season.
Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Mellars, Cockayne, John, Smith, Raleigh, Aiton, Southern, Kirmond, Lauitiiti, Washbrook. Subs: Wood, Walshaw, Johnson, Wilkes.
Giants: Eden, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy, Grix, Brough, Crabtree, Lee, Gilmour, Chan, Fairbank, Brown. Subs: Faiumu, Lunt, Patrick, Lawrence.
Referee: James Child.
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