Rugby League: Trinity's biggest battle begins

Wakefield Trinity 24 Featherstone Rovers 22

UNLIKELY AS it sounds after such a pulsating contest, Wakefield must now face even more implacable opponents than Featherstone.

Trinity won a dramatic inaugural First Division Grand Final at Huddersfield on Saturday with a late try and goal from Francis Stephenson and Garen Casey, but only after Rovers had scared them with a wonderful second-half comeback.

But the real battle starts now, with Wakefield needing to convince an independent panel of assessors that they are worth a place in Super League.

"I really think it's out of our hands," said their coach, Andy Kelly, as he relished the confirmation that the league leaders were the best side in a highly competitive division.

"We can't do any more than we've done this season. Now it's up to the wise people to decide whether we're worthy. If the door's open, we'll go through it."

Wakefield's problem is that their Belle Vue ground is barely good enough for First Division rugby, let alone Super League. Among the alternative suggestions is that they should play at Barnsley's Oakwell, but whether such a temporary solution will appeal to the arbiters is a moot point.

The other idea already abroad is that Wakefield and Featherstone should join forces, playing, at least for the forseeable future, at Rovers' tidy and perfectly adequate ground at Post Office Road.

The Featherstone coach, Steve Simms, who still does not know whether he will be retained by the club next season, is one who believes that the scheme has merit. "There's a lot of tradition involved, but the game's got to go forward sooner or later," he said. "If that means clubs joining together, so be it."

If there was objective sense in those sentiments, they sat awkwardly immediately after a game which had seen both clubs show such fierce pride in their individual identities.

Featherstone, who barely scraped into the play-offs, were were badly outmuscled by a huge Trinity team, but they played superbly to hold them to 12-6 at half-time and then take the lead with tries from Chico Jackson and Steve Collins at the start of the second half.

Wakefield equalised through Casey, but Featherstone thought they had won it when Carl Hall's try was followed by a stunning break from Asa Amone and a touchdown by Karl Pratt.

But the touch-judge had spotted a knock-on, not only depriving Rovers of the try but also giving Wakefield an excellent attacking position from the scrum. Stephenson's plunge and Casey's boot decided a match which totally vindicated the new play-off system.

"We're not complaining," said Simms. "But if that try is awarded we're 10 points ahead and on a high. Once it was disallowed, they were on a high."

Wakefield Trinity: Holland; Gray, Law, A Hughes, Bostock; Casey, Kenworthy; Stephenson, Southernwood, Lord, I Hughes, Whakarau, Fuller. Substitutes used: Richardson, Fisher, McDonald,

Featherstone Rovers: Collins; Hall, Irwin, Baker, Pratt; Coventry, Fallins; Jackson, Chapman, Dickens, Price, Lowe, Slater. Substitutes used: Handley, Amone, Clarkson.

Referee: N Oddy (Huddersfield).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'