Winger Ben Cockayne scored a hat-trick against former club Hull KR as Wakefield Trinity Wildcats chalked up their first win of Super League XVIII.
Richard Agar’s much-improved Wildcats led throughout and scored eight tries to Rovers’ four in a 36-20 victory at a packed Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Saturday night.
Wakefield showed big improvements on their opening day defeat at Bradford Bulls last time out, especially in the forward pack - which came in for plenty of criticism at the Provident Stadium.
Andy Raleigh retured to boost that forward pack and the return of half-back Tim Smith was also timely as both players played big parts in Wakefield’s success.
The visitors suffered a blow inside the first minute when stand-off Lincoln Withers was stretchered off following a collision with Justin Poore.
After a quiet opening in which neither side could gain authority, video referee Phil Bentham gave the green light to a Paul Aiton try in the 19th minute. Paul Sykes kicked the first of four successful conversions.
Aiton’s opener came after Graeme Horne was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle on Richie Mathers, just after referee Steve Ganson put the KR side on a warning, and the hosts took full advantage of the extra man.
Reece Lyne and Peter Fox, another former Rovers man, soon followed Aiton over the whitewash as Wakefield scored three tries inside seven minutes.
But when Horne came back on the Robins battled back and tries from Cory Paterson and Craig Hall got them back in the game, despite Agar’s side still leading 18-10 at the interval.
A Dean Collis try three minutes into the second half put Wildcats back in control but another sin-binning, this time to Wildcats captain Danny Kirmond, and a big hit to Kyle Amor which forced him off the field, turned the tide again.
Josh Hodgson and his namesake David narrowed the gap to four points but the return of Kirmond steadied the Wakefield ship.
Cockayne took centre stage for the last 20 minutes with three unanswered tries to see Wildcats to victory.
Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Lyne, Cockayne, Sykes, T Smith, Poore, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Subs: Wilkes, Wood, Amor, Mariano.
Hull KR: Hall, Caro, Salter, Horne, D Hodgson, Withers, Dobson, Paea, J Hodgson, Walker, Mika, Paterson, Griffin. Subs: Carlile, Cox, Ferguson, Tuimavave.
Referee: Steve Ganson.