WAKEFIELD TRINITY put in a big effort in the Belle Vue mud, but paid the penalty for some first-half indiscipline.
Both sides scored one try, but Hull edged to a 12-8 win in Betfred Super League round one thanks to their policy of kicking for goal whenever given a chance in the first half.
There’s a time and place to throw the ball around and Sunday at Wakefield’s newly-named Beaumont Legal Stadium wasn’t it.
With rain pouring down throughout, it was a game of very few chances and little incident.
The first half produced only one moment of open play when Hull spread the ball to the left and Fetuli Talanoa almost got to the line from Josh Griffin’s final pass, but he was hauled down by Scott Grix.
At the other end Ben Jones-Bishop did cross following a spill by Jamie Shaul, but referee Chris Campbell had already spotted a second knock-on, from the hosts.
Hull recognised early on it was going to be a slog and took three penalty kicks at goal in the opening quarter, Marc Sneyd landing them all to make it 6-0.
The only other first-half points came on 21 minutes when Sam Williams – another of Wakefield’s closed-season recruits – replied in similar fashion.
For the rest of the time both teams kept things tight, but even so found themselves bogged down on a heavy pitch and the poor conditions contributed to a high error count.
Both touchdowns came following a kick. The opening try was nothing spectacular, but it was well-taken, Grix – on his second Wakefield debut – grubbering over the line from close range and then diving through to touch down. Williams landed an angled conversion to edge Trinity 8-6 ahead four minutes into the second half.
It wouldn’t have been a surprise if the score stayed that way, but Hull pulled the game out of the fire with 12 minutes left. Jake Connor pounced after Sneyd’s kick to Hull’s left was spilled by Jones-Bishop and the no7 added the extras to make it 12-8.
Trinity had one chance to salvage something in the final minute when Bill Tupou flicked a pass to Tom Johnstone and he kicked infield, between the posts, but the ball was hacked dead before Grix could get there.
The result was disappointing for Wakefield, but they could take credit for a strong defensive effort and their pack muscled up strongly in difficult circumstances.
Wakefield suffered an early blow, after three minutes, when prop Anthony England went off for a concussion assessment following a big hit by Sika Manu.
He did not return, reducing Trinity to 16 fit players for virtually the entire game.
Wakefield Trinity: Grix, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone, Miller, Williams, England, Finn, Huby, Ashurst, Kirmond, Sio. Subs Wood, Arona, Fifita, Walker.
Hull: Shaul, Fonua, Tuimavave, Griffin, Talanoa, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Watts, Manu, Minichiello, Ellis. Subs Connor, Green, Thompson, Washbrook.
Referee: Chris Campbell (Widnes).