Young stand-off Bobbie Goulding kicked a last-gasp penalty to earn Wakefield Trinity Wildcats a deserved 18-18 draw at Leeds Rhinos in the annual Heatshot Festive Challenge on Boxing Day.
The award of the late penalty was fair enough, Liam Sutcliffe catching Ben Shulver around the head a few metres from the Leeds line, after Luke Briscoe had spilled Goulding’s high kick.
It was an exciting end to a dull game and a fair result, with Wakefield having the better of the first half and Leeds on top for much of the second.
The visitors went ahead after 21 uneventful minutes, after Taulima Tautai and Danny Kirmond forced Joel Moon into a knock-on near his own line and in the resulting set, Peter Fox crossed from Dean Collis’ pass.
Wildcats had an opportunity to increase their lead when young winger Tom Johnstone burst down the left flank, but full-back Ben Jones-Bishop stood his ground to make a try-saving tackle.
Rhinos had showed little but they took a 6-4 lead into half-time when a break from Jones-Bishop put Zak Hardaker clear and he crossed for a self-converted try.
Leeds bagged their second try just nine minutes after the break. Sutcliffe grubbered over the line on the last and centre Thomas Minns chased a seemingly lost cause to touch-down and Hardaker goaled.
Matty Wildie’s try and Goulding’s conversion narrowed the gap only for Leeds to reply through Chris Clarkson’s try and Hardaker’s extras with 17 minutes left.
Back came Trinity and Molloy barged over, Goulding converting, to set up a tense conclusion.
Rhinos appeared to have the win in the bag but Goulding’s last-gasp intervention earned a share of the spoils for the visitors.