A last-minute try from the full-back Ben Cockayne snatched a victory for Hull KR to mark a battling return to the top flight.
"I'm very pleased with the first win but I'm not surprised, because I knew these guys could lift to this standard," said Rovers' coach, Justin Morgan. "The winning try was typical of Ben Cockayne. He had 10 minutes in the sin-bin and made a couple of crucial errors, but nothing fazes him."
Cockayne, who was one of three players shown a yellow card, took an inside pass from Chris Chester to go over near the posts after Jamie Rooney's drop goal seemed to have won it for Wakefield. Rovers refused to concede that their first game at this level was going to end in defeat.
They could hardly have got off to a better start. To the delight of a full Craven Park they were ahead after little more than two minutes, helped by a penalty for a dangerous tackle by Richard Moore. Rovers probed down the left, with Ben Fisher and Jon Goddard opening the way for Scott Murrell to score in the corner. Gareth Morton kicked an excellent goal.
Cockayne's knock-on from Sam Obst's kick and a penalty gave Wakefield, who avoided relegation on the last weekend of last season, the chance to strike back. Obst darted over from dummy-half and Jamie Rooney's kick tied the scores.
The Robins continued to look lively, and a neat pass from Murrell to Cockayne induced a penalty when Ben Jeffries hung on, this time leaving Morton with an easy kick. That was the signal for a prolonged spell of Wakefield pressure, with Rovers coming through unscathed.
Morton hit the post with a long-range penalty, but Wakefield were in further trouble when Tevita Latu was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle. Rovers could not take advantage before half-time, which arrived amid a flare-up which saw Moore and Cockayne sent to the bin.
James Webster was close to a brilliant individual try at the start of the second half, but was stopped inches short. At the other end, another spell of Wakefield pressure yielded an equalising goal from Rooney. Luke Dyer also went desperately close for the Robins, from Webster's kick.
Rooney had a drop goal charged down, but he gave Wakefield the lead for the first time with eight minutes to play.
It seemed Rovers' last chance had gone when Morton was taken into touch near the Wakefield line, but Obst lost the ball in bringing it clear and Rovers seized their final opportunity.
Hull KR: Cockayne; Dyer, Goddard, Morton, Ford; Murrell, Webster; Ward, Fisher, Vella, Netherton, Morrison, Chester. Substitutes used: Aizue, Gallagher, Gannon, Weisner.
Wakefield: Field; Fox, Demetriou, Atkins, Tadulala; Rooney, Jeffries; Watene, Obst, Moore, Elima, Golden, Ferres. Substitutes used: P March, Latu, Catic, Lima.
Referee: A Klein (Keighley).Reuse content