Déjà vu for Wakefield Wildcats as Sykes kicks last-gasp winner at Hull KR

editorial image
0
Have your say

PAUL Sykes kicked a dramatic late drop goal for the second week running as Wakefield Trinity Wildcats edged out Super League play-off rivals Hull KR 31-30 at MS3 Craven Park.

Sykes kicked the winning point with less than a minute to spare as Wakefield made it five wins on the spin for the first time since 2009 to boost their top-eight hopes.

The Robins led 14-8 at the interval but Wildcats showed big improvements in the second half to peg their hosts back and eventually return home with two crucial points.

Wakefield's former Rovers players played a big role, with Ben Cockayne, who was given a warm reception by the home faithful, scoring twice, and Peter Fox and Frankie Mariano also crossing the whitewash, while Andy Ellis pulled the strings in the middle.

It started well for Richard Agar's men with Cockayne opening the scoring early on thanks to good work by Ali Lauitiiti to put him over.

Rovers hit back though Liam Salter after 20 minutes and Graeme Horne touched down shortly after, getting on the end of a David Hodgson kick. Salter added his second shortly before half-time to cement the Robins' dominance on the game.

But Wakefield grabbed a lifeline seconds before the half-time hooter when Fox went over in the corner following good work by Cockayne and Tim Smith - the latter playing another influential role in Wildcats' vibrant attacking play throughout.

The try gave the visitors the boost they needed going into the interval and they looked a much-improved side on the resumption, something showcased in Mariano's try minutes after the restart, Sykes adding the extras.

Another Smith kick put Cockayne in for his second try of the game, and his 99th in first-grade rugby league, to swing the game back in Wakefield's favour before Dean Collis scored to put Wildcats seemingly in control.

But, as in the first half, the hosts scored two tries in quick succession to help turn the game on its head. First Lincoln Withers eased over and then skipper Ben Galea squeezed through the Wildcats defence to touch down.

Rovers' comeback looked complete when Craig Hall put in Josh Hodgson to edge the hosts ahead but Wakefield once again showed their never-say-die spirit to level through Kyle Wood. Sykes had the chance to edge the visitors ahead but he missed the kick.

He didn't let his head drop, however, and, as with St Helens last weekend, the on-loan Bradford Bulls man was put in position to kick Wakefield's winner with 50 seconds left on the clock and spark more wild celebrations from Wildcats fans and players.

Hull KR: Louis Sheriff, Sam Latus, Liam Salter, Graeme Horne, David Hodgson, Craig Hall, Michael Dobson, Ryan O'Hara, Josh Hodgson, Scott Taylor, Rhys Lovegrove, Ben Galea, George Griffin. Subs: Lincoln Withers, Jason Netherton, Con Mika, Mickey Paea.

Wildcats: Richie Mathers, Peter Fox, Dean Collis, Lee Smith, Ben Cockayne, Paul Sykes, Tim Smith, Kyle Amor, Andy Ellis, Andy Raleigh, Ali Lauitiiti, Danny Kirmond, Danny Washbrook. Subs: Kyle Wood, Frankie Mariano, Paul Johnson, Oliver Wilkes.

Referee: Mr R Silverwood.

Attendance: 8,726

See this week's Wakefield Express for all the latest sports news from around the district.