Ben Cockayne seals Wakefield win with late tries

Wakefield Trinity 36 Hull Kingston Rovers 20

belle vue

Injury-hit Rovers surrendered their proud record of never having lost their first two matches of a Super League season as Wakefield rediscovered some traces of last year's form.

Three tries in 10 minutes, with Tim Smith pulling the strings, put the Wildcats in command midway through the first half, although Rovers summoned up plenty of defiance, getting to within four points before conceding two crucial tries scored by their old boy, Ben Cockayne.

After making unimpressive starts to the Super League season last weekend, both sides were conscious of a need to improve rapidly.

Wakefield's prospects of doing so in their first home game of the campaign seemed to improve markedly when Richard Agar was able to field his playmaker, Smith, after the architect of last year's unexpected charge to the play-offs missed the opener with an ankle injury.

"Last week was a bit of a shock to us and we've worked very hard this week," said Agar, who praised the work his forwards had done to give Smith space to create.

"If you give the ball to Tim in the right areas he will come up with the plays," he said.

Rovers, already without six first-choice players, lost Lincoln Withers to a clash of heads in the first tackle of the match. He was taken to hospital with a severe laceration.

Despite that unpromising start, the Robins held their own in an attritional opening quarter and would have been ahead but for Dean Collis's try-saving tackle on David Hodgson in the corner.

Rovers lost Graeme Horne to the sin-bin for repeated infringements and Trinity took the lead when Smith, over the try-line, dunked the ball down for Paul Aiton to score.

Paul Sykes added the goal, and the Wildcats went further ahead when Smith and Richie Mathers sent Reece Lyne over.

Wakefield had last season's confidence back and they showed all of it in the way Danny Kirmond kicked through for Peter Fox to touch down.

The first sign of relief for Rovers came courtesy of a battling solo try from Cory Paterson. A storming run by Andy Raleigh then exposed more cracks in the Wakefield defence and Craig Hall's try made it a mere eight-point margin.

Wakefield Trinity Mathers; Fox, Collis, Lyne, Cockayne; Sykes, Smith; Poore, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Substitutes used Wood, Amor, Mariano, Wilkes.

Hull Kingston Rovers Hall; Caro, Salter, Horne, D.Hodgson; Withers, Dobson; Paea, J. Hodgson, Walker, Mika, Paterson, Griffin. Substitutes used Tuimavave, Cox, Carlile, Ferguson.

Referee S Ganson (St Helens).

* Widnes will be boosted by Gareth Hock as they seek to make history by pulling off a first-ever Super League victory over St Helens at the Halton Stadium today. Saints have won the last 15 matches between the two, going back to Widnes's 20-17 triumph in the old Stones Bitter Championship in April 1994, but they lost at home to Huddersfield for the first time in the Super League era on the opening weekend.

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When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
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He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
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