Hull's test centre Kirk Yeaman suffered an epileptic fit in the changing room at half-time during his club's runaway Super League victory over struggling Wakefield yesterday.
The stalwart Yeaman – who has represented England – was successfully treated by the club doctor and was able to make a swift recovery. He had enjoyed a dazzling first 40 minutes on the pitch, scoring a try and setting up another.
"It was 10 years since he last had one [epileptic fit]," said his coach, Richard Agar. "He was sitting up and talking, so he is going to be fine." Agar added that the attack was not thought to be related to the hot weather or to any knock he might have received during the game. "It's just something that can happen when you have the condition."
The afternoon had started with Wakefield doing their utmost to portray the image of a vibrant Super League club. It is less than a month now until the verdict on who will drop out of the competition, with the Wildcats the bookies' favourites.
With the sun shining on a sizeable crowd, Wakefield were clearly eager to create a good impression – and they made the perfect start, with quick tries from Gareth Moore and Kyle Amor. Both scores came from kicks deliberately aimed at the upright by Jeremy Smith.
Unfortunately for Wakefield, not all first impressions last. After Joe Westerman had got Hull moving with the first of their 10 tries, Yeaman scored one and then set one up for Richard Horne to ensure the visitors took the lead before half-time. Even without Yeaman, Hull were totally dominant after the break, and after Danny Tickle had gone over, there was a passage of play that effectively decided that this was not just going to be a defeat for Trinity, but a heavy one at that.
First, Greg Johnson intercepted from Horne, but could not go the length of the field. Then, Glenn Morrison had one neatly picked off by Richard Whiting, who could.
Luke George responded by scoring a spectacular 70-metre effort, but the rest of the game was unadulterated misery for the Wildcats. Whiting again, Jordan Turner, Mark O'Meley, Tom Briscoe – with the best of the lot – and Lee Radford all went over, with Smith not helping his side's cause by being sent to the sin-bin for the second game in a row.
It was a close call over who was the more disgruntled at the end, the Wakefield coach John Kear or an elderly lady who had tried to accost the referee James Child. Understandably, it was his side's efforts – or the lack of them – that earned Kear's ire. "I was embarrassed by the second half," he said, going on to accuse some of his players of not giving their best. "We'll be going back to a young team that's trying, " he added, pertinently.
Wakefield: Blaymire; G.Johnson, George, Murphy, Griffin; Moore, Smith; P Johnson, Rinaldi, Amor, Mariano, Morrison, Lee. Substitutes used: Hickey, Wildie, King, Henderson.
Hull: Phelps; Whiting, Turner, Yeaman, Briscoe; Horne, Obst; O'Meley, Houghton, Moa, Manu, Tickle, Westerman. Substitutes used: Washbrook, Lauaki, Radford, Dowes.
Referee: J Child (Dewsbury)