Hull blow it again as Lauitiiti makes up 20-point deficit
Wakefield 32 Hull 30
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Monday 11 June 2012
A late torrent of 22 points swept away Hull's chances of ending the weekend in Super League's top four. A 72nd-minute try from the veteran second-rower Ali Lauitiiti completed a remarkable turnaround by Wakefield, who had appeared to be out of it when Kirk Yeaman hit them with two quick tries at the start of the second half.
That made it a 20-point gap, but the side that let leads slip late against Hull KR a fortnight ago and St Helens a week after that did it again.
It made a moment to savour for the Wakefield coach, Richard Agar, sacked by Hull at the end of last season. "It was nice to beat them, but I just want to shower my players with praise for their never-say-die attitude," he said.
A scrappy first half saw both teams punished for their mistakes and misdeeds, starting with Kyle Amor's ill-advised off-load to concede early possession to Hull. Jamie Ellis's kick produced a further six tackles and Willie Manu, so effective near the try-line this season, found a way through.
Danny Tickle, who hopes to line up for England against Manu and the Exiles on Saturday, added the goal, plus a penalty when Sam Moa's fine short pass sparked an attack which caught Wakefield offside.
Hull looked to be on their way to fourth spot without any fuss or drama when Danny Washbrook was penalised for holding-down in the tackle and Brett Seymour found a big hole in the Trinity defence, but the home side began to fight back. Joe Westerman was placed on report for his tackle on Oliver Wilkes and from that possession, Tim Smith's clever kick was weighted perfectly for Dean Collis to touch down.
There was a relapse for the Wildcats when Ben Crooks, son of ex-Great Britain prop, Lee Crooks, scored in the corner. But Wakefield responded with Ben Cockayne releasing Smith and Peter Fox speeding in from 50m.
Then Yeaman's two second-half tries should have been the game won but nobody convinced Wakefield of that. Their resurgence began when Cockayne's kick deflected to Paul Sykes and continued when Washbrook forced his way through. Amor brought them within striking distance and the pressure was relentless until Lauitiiti took Sykes' delayed pass and decided the issue.
Even then, Hull could have snatched it if Westerman had passed to men outside him. "That was the most disappointed I've been as a coach this season," said the Hull coach, Peter Gentle. "I wasn't confident at 30-10 because I could see the cracks in us."
Wakefield Mathers; Fox, Collis, Mellars, Cockayne; Sykes, Smith; Amor, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Walshaw, Washbrook.
Replacements used Wood, Wilkes, Southern, Trout.
Hull Russell; Crooks, Turner, Yeaman, Briscoe; Ellis, Seymour; Lynch, Houghton, Moa, Manu, Tickle, Westerman.
Replacements used Whiting, Aspinwall, Pitts, O'Carroll.
Referee S Ganson (St Helens).
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