Hull missed the chance to open up a three-point gap in fourth place in Super League with a lacklustre display at Wakefield. The Wildcats revived their own play-off ambitions with a stolid effort directed by the former Hull star Paul Cooke. Coming after last week's thrashing by Hull KR, it showed their ability to bounce back from their low points. "We went back to basics," said their coach, John Kear. "Dogged and determined and ugly; we'll settle for that."
Both sides should have had a try in the opening minutes. Danny Tickle knocked on after Jordan Turner's break had split the Wakefield defence and Richard Whiting intercepted from Ben Jeffries after Cooke's contortionist's pass through his legs had opened up the Hull line.
Hull got their noses ahead after nine minutes, Tickle playing a more positive part by getting underneath Shaun Berrigan's high kick and steering the ball back for Turner to score.
The Wildcats' equaliser was doubly controversial. First Jordan Tansey was penalised for not playing the ball properly, then Cooke was credited with a try after he lost the ball touching down. The referee Steve Ganson was a couple of metres away.
Hull became ragged and went further behind when Cooke hoisted a bomb, Sean Gleeson knocked the ball down and Julian Rinaldi, the French hooker on loan from Villeneuve for the rest of the season, touched down.
Cooke could not manage a conversion but did kick a penalty before Hull had a try disallowed, for a Kirk Yeaman offside at the play-the-ball, again leaving the visitors feeling they were on the end of some esoteric refereeing.
The dour, attritional pattern continued into the second half. Yeaman's fumble from Jeffries' kick enabled Wakefield to build some pressure, culminating in a penalty for offside. They chose to run rather than kick and Charlie Leaeno took Tevita Leo-Latu's pass to power over from close range. In the context of the game it was a spectacular moment, as was Jeffries' drop-goal to open up a 13-point gap.
Belatedly, Hull, with Richard Horne back in their side for the first time since the beginning of May, began to ask their hosts some questions. The Trinity defence held firm, however, and they could have gone further ahead when Aaron Murphy narrowly failed to touch down Jason Demetriou's kick.
If there was still any doubt, Daryl Millard's breakaway and Demetriou's interception settled it.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats Blaymire; Gleeson, Murphy, Millard, Morton; Cooke, Jeffries; Leaeno, Rinaldi, Moore, Demetriou, Johnson, Morrison. Substitutes used: Korkidas, King, Henderson, Leo-Latu.
Hull FC Tansey; Whiting, Turner, Yeaman, Briscoe; Washbrook, Berrigan; Dowes, Houghton, Cusack, Manu, Tickle, Fitzgibbon. Substitutes used: Radford, Lauaki, Horne, Hall.
Referee S Ganson (St Helens).