Harlequins 34 Wakefield 18: Sheriffe's on target to skin Wildcats
Sunday 24 February 2008
Wakefield were worn down by a crippling injury toll as they fell apart in the final quarter. The loss of Brad Drew, Jason Demetriou and Tony Martin, all with serious injuries, caught up with the Wildcats, who had led by eight points early in the second half.
Wakefield, showing several changes from the side that succumbed to Leeds last week, made a bright start when Scott Grix went over for a try inside the first three minutes of his debut for the club.
Harlequins' response was two tries in four minutes, the first of them from Scott Hill, carried off last week but capable of side-stepping his way over the try line this. The second was punishment for slack defensive work by the Wildcats, Chad Randall getting away effortlessly from dummy-half to set up Matt Gafa, Super League's leading try scorer, for his fifth of the season.
Wakefield seemed to have suffered another blow when the influential Drew went off with a suspected broken hand, but his replacement, Sam Obst, scored with his first touch, after Demetriou's superb pass put Grix through a gap. Danny Brough's second conversion put Wakefield ahead, ushering in a long period of pressure that Quins did well to withstand.
The Wildcats' frustration at failing to turn their possession into points intensified when a second key player, Demetriou, was carried off before half-time with a leg injury.
Wakefield overcame their setbacks when Danny Sculthorpe produced a quite magnificent pass out of the tackle to Jamie Rooney. Mark McLinden managed to catch him but Brett Ferris was there to finish the job.
Wakefield lost yet another player when Martin went off and David Howell had what looked a good Harlequins try disallowed for a forward pass. That was not too damaging because Randall scored almost immediately after Kevin Henderson surrendered possession near his own line.
Luke George's fumble under Hill's high kick set the stage for Ricki Sheriffe's try to put the London club ahead and Wakefield looked out on their feet when Henry Paul went over a couple of minutes later. Another high kick bounced kindly for Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook to make absolutely sure for Quins but it was hard not to feel some sympathy for Wakefield's plight.
Harlequins: McLinden; Wells, Gafa, Howell, Sheriffe; Hill, Orr; Temata, Randall, Ward, Purdham, Mbu, Paul. Substitutes used: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Rinaldi, Haggerty, Walsh.
Wakefield: Grix; Martin, Gleeson, Atkins, George; Rooney, Brough; Watene, Drew, Moore, Ferres, MacGillivray, Demetriou. Substitutes used: Sculthorpe, Obst, Henderson, Wilkes.
Referee: I Smith (Oldham).
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Aston Villa preview: I need to prove myself again at Villa, says Scott Sinclair
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester City, United want Gareth Bale
Chelsea vs Manchester City player ratings: David Silva saves the day but which City star stole the show at Stamford Bridge?
Arsene Wenger photobombs Arsenal photo shoot - manages to look like famous 'Bigfoot' picture
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
- 1 Three-year-old boy shoots pregnant mother and father in New Mexico
- 2 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 4 Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse
President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia