There was much to admire from both sides in an opening Super League fixture that resolved itself into a compare-and-contrast exercise between two full-backs.
There was Ben Jones-Bishop, making his debut for Quins on a season-long loan from Leeds, and scoring two tries. His class was so obvious that Brian McDermott, his coach, mentioned him in the same breath as the England side. At 21 and with a mere handful of first-team appearances behind him, it is a little early to be thinking in those terms, but the potential is clearly there for him to play his way into the international frame.
On the day, however, Jones-Bishop was at least partially upstaged by his opposite number, Aaron Murphy, normally a winger, who was preferred to last season's Player of the Year, Matt Blaymire. Murphy played beautifully at full-back, setting up one try and scoring another.
Another to impress was the winger Dale Morton, 19, who was a model of willingness throughout. A couple of his tackles to wrap up Quins' centre David Howell were text-book examples of how to defend off your wing. There was not much wrong with Quins' defence either, especially near their try-line, where they were heroic. With the ball, it was a different story, as it was always likely to be for a team without a serious run-out in preparation for the season. "We were under-cooked," McDermott said. "We were never going to be at our best today."
Wakefield's Richard Moore and Quins' Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook will face a disciplinary hearing tomorrow after being sent off late in the game for fighting.
Harlequins: Jones-Bishop; Melling, Clubb, Howell, Sharp; Gale, Orr; Wilkes, Randall, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Williamson, Esders, Golden. Substitutes used: O'Callaghan, James, Ward, Bolger.
Wakefield: Murphy; Morton, Gleeson, Millard, George; Obst, Brough; Korkidas, Leo-Latu, Tronc, Ferguson, Henderson, Morrison. Substitutes used:: Jeffries, Newton, Demetriou, Moore.
Referee: I Smith (Oldham).
*Frozen pitches played havoc with the first round of the Northern Rail Cup yesterday, with most ties having to be called off.