Wakefield Trinity secure first Wembley final appearance since 1979 after superb 1895 Cup last-four win over Bradford Bulls

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Wakefield Trinity secured a first appearance at Wembley since 1979 after a superb second half display in the semi-finals of the 1895 Cup at Bradford Bulls.

Trinity had to recover from an early 8-0 deficit and, although they were still behind at half-time despite Ky Rodwell’s try, a double from captain Matty Ashurst and efforts from Liam Hood, the returning Jermaine McGillvary, Renouf Atoni and Derrell Olpherts sealed an emphatic 40-14 victory.

McGillvary came straight back into the starting 13 following his recovery from a torn tricep he sustained in the Challenge Cup win at Siddal in March with top try scorer Lachlan Walmsley dropping to the bench. Daryl Powell was also without Luke Gale who was missing with a suspected groin injury, so Liam Kay partnered Mason Lino in the halves.

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Odsal hadn’t been a happy hunting ground for Wakefield in recent years. You had to go back to 2006 for their last win here, having lost their previous eight games at the historic venue. Not the kind of history you want when you’re trying to deal with 45 years of hurt.

Wakefield Trinity celebrate going to Wembley!Wakefield Trinity celebrate going to Wembley!
Wakefield Trinity celebrate going to Wembley!

And it looked like a potential shock could be on the cards when Zac Fulton dived over after only nine minutes following a great lung-bursting break from Joe Arundel. Two Jordan Lilley kicks extended the lead to 8-0. Odsal was rocking.

A Max Jowitt kick went out on the full and the home side continued to pile on the pressure. At the other end, the visitors were thwarted by a stubborn Bradford defence as Iain Thornley and McGillvary both went close.

However, Rodwell succeeded in getting over the line just before the half-time hooter, with Jowitt’s conversion reducing the Bulls’ lead to just two points.

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And it just took three minutes of the second half for Wakefield to show why they are a Super League team in waiting as Ashurst went over after receiving a great ball from Lino.

Hood then made it two tries in eight minutes as he touched down after being assisted by Thomas Doyle as Wakey stormed into a stunning 18-8 lead.

A controversial moment arrived when Kieran Gill thought he had got Bradford right back into the contest when he was the first to a Lilley grubber kick but the referee disallowed it.

Wakefield then went straight to the other end as Ashurst claimed his second after Rodwell found Lino with a smart offload.

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From dismay, to relief, to pure euphoria in the space of two minutes. From what could have been 18-14, Wakefield extended their advantage to 24-8.

McGillvary, Atoni and Olpherts all got on the trysheet, in between a Gill try, as Wakefield produced another flurry of tries as Trinity fans started to plan their journey to the capital on Saturday, June 8, where they will face Sheffield Eagles who beat York Knights 28-18 in the other semi-final.

Bradford: McGowan, Myers, Arundel, Gill, Taufua, Holmes, Lilley, Doro, Souter, Lawrence, Wilson, Fulton, Davies

Interchanges: Appo, Okoro, Ott, Rogers

Tries: Fulton, Gill

Conversions: Lilley (2)

Penalties: Lilley

Wakefield: Jowitt, McGillvary, Pratt, Thornley Olpherts, Kay, Lino, Bowden, Hood, Atoni, Ashurst, Griffin, Pitts

Interchanges: Walmsley, Uele, Rodwell, Doyle

Tries: Rodwell, Ashurst (2), Hood, McGillvary, Atoni, Olpherts

Conversions: Jowitt (6)

Attendance: 5,340

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