Jeffries takes Trinity to historic play-off win

Hull 18 Wakefield 28
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The Independent Online

A mighty second-half effort from Wakefield took them another step towards the unlikely destination of a Grand Final and ended Shaun McRae's British residency in defeat and disappointment. McRae's Hull had the better of the first 45 minutes but Trinity, in their first play-off appearance, were magnificent after the break.

In a frantic first few minutes Wakefield had a Rob Spicer try disallowed for off-side and then had Ben Jeffries sent to the sin bin for holding on. Despite that, they took the lead when David March scrambled after Semi Tadulala had set up the position. They were briefly reduced to 11 men when Gareth Ellis went to the bin for a similar offence, one of a series for which they were penalised as the pressure on their line built steadily until the inevitable equaliser arrived via Richard Swain.

Ellis was still off the field when Hull struck again, Paul Cooke picking off Jeffries' kick to take the ball upfield and Richard Whiting's neat pass sending Shayne McMenemy over.

Hull went further ahead when Peter Lupton landed a penalty after Darrell Griffin had stolen the ball from Swain. It was a lead they held until half-time, even when Wakefield began to get their off-load game working.

Trinity started the second half with a tremendous forward surge, but Jason Demetriou could not take Jeffries' pass. Just after the break, they made their move, Jeffries kicking across field, Kirk Yeaman's deflection deceiving Gareth Rayner, and Colum Halpenny following up to touch down.

March's conversion attempt hit the post, but six minutes later Chris Feather managed to wrestle his way over the Hull line for a try which Paul Handforth converted to give Wakefield a two-point advantage.

The travelling Trinity supporters were delirious when their team made it three tries in 10 minutes, Tadulala leaping high to take Jeffries' kick and again exploiting a shell-shocked Hull defence. Handforth stretched Trinity's lead and time was running out for Hull when Ewan Dowes took Swain's pass and forced the ball down, Lupton missing his kick.

Wakefield still had to defend desperately but with five minutes left Demetriou ensured that they will visit Wigan or St Helens in the next round.

Hull: Briscoe; Best, Yeaman, Whiting, Raynor; Cooke, Lupton; Dowes, Swain, Carvell, Fletcher, McNicholas, McMenemy. Substitutes used: G Horne, Barnett, Bailey, Scruton.

Wakefield: Field; Halpenny, Demetriou, Domic, Tadulala; Ellis, Jeffries; Feather, March, Korkidas, Solomona, MacGillivray, Spicer. Substitutes used: Griffin, Handforth, Elima, Snitch.

Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington).