Smith’s drop steals limelight from Crooks
Hull 26 Wakefield 27
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.
The KC Stadium
Monday 01 July 2013
A Lee Smith drop-goal a minute from time gave Wakefield three wins in a row for the first time in a year. A night of fluctuating fortunes came when Shannon McDonnell lost the ball near his line and Smith took his chance.
A hat-trick of tries from the find of the season Ben Crooks seemed to have arrested Hull’s recent decline. Second best for much of a lack-lustre game, they were apparently rescued by the finishing power of the young centre, only to be overhauled by tries from Smith and Peter Fox.
Kirk Yeaman tied it up again but Danny Tickle could not land what would have been a match-winning kick, to the relief of Wildcats coach, Richard Agar. “We really hung in there on a difficult night,” said Agar. “I thought our effort was superb.”
The in-form Crooks celebrated his 20th birthday by ghosting in for the game’s first try. Wakefield struck back with Fox’s try from Dean Collis’ back-handed pass. That gave them the confidence to take the lead with a second score, created by Paul Sykes’ exchange of passes with Smith, after Hull had conceded crucial penalties.
A knock-on by Fox produced a loose ball for Hull, turned into an equalising try for Tom Lineham by new boy Jacob Miller. It remained all-square until just before half-time when Oliver Wilkes put the Wildcats in front.
Neither side could have much to feel proud of at half-time but after the break there was a moment of sheer quality from Crooks which brought Hull level, picking up Tim Smith’s kick off his bootlaces and going 90 metres to touch down, despite the bravest of chases from Danny Kirmond. Crooks’ hat-trick try was contentious, the ball coming out of Gareth Ellis’ grasp earlier in the move.
Yeaman’s foolish penalty set up Lee Smith to bring Wakefield back into it, but he could not land the equalising conversion. Fox’s second try gave them the edge with 10 minutes to play. But the visitors stood and watched Miller’s high kick bounce for Yeaman to pounce and level once more.
Hull: McDonnell; Lineham, Crooks, Yeaman, Briscoe; Holdsworth, Miller; O’Meley, Houghton, Watts, Ellis, Westerman, Galea. Substitutes used: Lynch, Tickle, Johnson, Heremaia.
Wakefield: Mathers; Fox, Collis, L.Smith, Cockayne; Sykes, T.Smith; Poore, Aiton, Amor, Kirmond, Mariano, Washbrook. Substitutes used: Lauitiiti, Raleigh, Wood, Wilkes.
Referee: T Roby (St Helens)
Brendan Rodgers future: Odds shorten on sack as Liverpool manager prepares to meet bosses in next 36 hours
Fifa corruption: Sepp Blatter's right-hand man Jerome Valcke 'sent' $10m payment to Jack Warner in letter from the South African FA
Sepp Blatter resigns: Under-pressure Fifa president quits amid corruption scandal
Next Liverpool manager: Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp among favourites to succeed Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool transfer news: James Milner nearing Anfield switch, but club baulk at £32.5m Christian Benteke release clause
- 3 Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers