Rugby League: Focus changes for Trinity

Wakefield 22 Villeneuve 25
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The Independent Online
WAKEFIELD HAD two hurdles to clear this week and fell over the first of them when they lost their chance of appearing in next Sunday's final of the Anglo-French Treize Tournoi, writes Dave Hadfield.

By Wednesday, Wakefield will know whether they have been accepted into Super League for next season. At a rain-lashed Belle Vue yesterday, they sacrificed the more modest prize of a trip to Toulouse, leaving Lancashire Lynx - 26-18 winners over St Esteve - to face Villeneuve in the final.

Trinity almost snatched the win they needed in order to qualify. Behind by 14 points early in the second half, they bought back to 22-24, only to be kept at arm's length by a late drop goal.

Tries from Andy Fisher and Josh Bostock, plus the first of Adam Hughes's three goals, took the First Division champions quickly into double figures.

But Fabien Devecchi grabbed an opportunist first try for the visitors and David Collado went over for two in the space of three minutes.

When Freddie Banquet, a former Wakefield player, went in and then added his second goal, Villeneuve looked well in control.

They were even better placed when Laurent Carrasco forced his way over after two minutes of the second half, but Wakefield came back impressively with converted tries from Paul March and David Mycoe.

Villeneuve looked likely to cave in, but held on, so Wakefield can now concentrate on domestic matters, such as whether their ground arrangements and finances are up to the standard required by the independent panel that will rule on their application.

The troublesome issue of the ground will be resolved, they hope, by installing temporary seating at Belle Vue and using Barnsley's Oakwell ground for televised matches.

Wakefield Trinity: Gray; Sabine, A Hughes, Bostock, Wray; Mycoe, P March; S Hicks, Briggs, Lord, Fisher, Richardson, I Hughes. Substitutes used: D March, P Hicks, McDonald, Westwood.

Villeneuve: Banquet; Perolari, Minut, Frayssinous, Cornut, Devecchi, Plath, Collado, Wulf, Sironen, Carrasco, Sabatie, Doorey. Substitutes used: Bloomfield, Peralta, Calvet, Rinaldi.

Referee: T Alibert (Albi).