Sunday 19th August 2012, 15:00 - Round:25
Hull Kingston Rovers
|Liam Salter 2, Graeme Horne, Lincoln Withers, Ben Galea, Josh Hodgson,||T||Ben Cockayne 2, Peter Fox, Frankie Mariano, Dean Collis, Kyle Wood,|
Michael Dobson 3,
Paul Sykes 3,
Attendance: 8,726 Official: R Silverwood Venue: MS3 Craven Park
Paul Sykes’ drop goal with 40 seconds remaining gave Wakefield Trinity Wildcats a narrow win over Hull KR and secured their fifth victory in a row.
It was the second week running that Sykes pulled off a game-winning drop-goal after his effort last week against St Helens.
Wakefield won with a lot of help from former Rovers players now playing for Richard Agar. Ben Cockayne (two), Peter Fox and Frankie Mariano all had spells at the East Yorkshire side before moving on in recent years.
The visitors took the lead in the seventh minute through Cockayne, a fans’ favourite at Craven Park before his departure midway through last season. He was sent away by Ali Lauitiiti to score in the left-hand corner but Sykes was unable to turn it in a six-point score.
Rovers took a while to get going and drew level midway through the half. Mickey Paea, who made an explosive introduction to the game moments before, produced a quality offload to send Liam Salter over for his second try in two games. Michael Dobson, like Sykes, missed the conversion to leave the scores level.
In their very next set, Rovers took the lead through a creative try down the left flank. Dobson's chip over the top was inch-perfect for Dave Hodgson, who in turn kicked downfield for Graeme Horne to chase.
The centre won the race to ground the ball but it came at a cost as Richie Mathers clattered into Horne and knocked the tryscorer out. It was Horne's last contribution to the game as he was replaced by Con Mika after several minutes of treatment. Dobson was unable to convert.
Rovers were enjoying their best spell of the first half and, with two minutes remaining, Salter scored his second try of the game. At the third time of asking, Dobson found his range and kicked the conversion for a 14-4 lead.
It should have been the half-time score, but Wakefield had less than a minute to come up with something special. Cockayne broke down the left and won a penalty. From it Tim Smith kicked to the opposite wing for Fox to score with just one second on the clock against the team that released him at the end of last season. Sykes' conversion dipped under the crossbar to leave the Wildcats trailing 14-8 at the interval.
Just 19 seconds into the second half, a third former Robin scored. Mariano strolled through a massive gap after Richard Silverwood penalised Ben Galea for being offside from the restart. Sykes added the extras to level the scores.
Cockayne grabbed his second of the game in the 49th minute, getting to Smith's kick quicker than Craig Hall. Sykes’ conversion opened up a 20-14 lead for the Wildcats.
Dean Collis' try three minutes later put the visitors in control of the game. Smith was once again the architect with another pinpoint kick to the right-hand corner and Sykes converted once more.
With their grip on eighth place slipping, Rovers had 25 minutes to turn the game around. Dobson's kick to the posts found Lincoln Withers, who managed to ground the ball despite the attention of three Wakefield defenders.
Dobson's conversion left a converted try separating the two sides, a deficit which was wiped out two minutes later when Galea scored just three days after announcing his plans to retire. His 35-metre mazy run showed he will be missed from the game.
It set up a tense finale and with a vociferous East Stand behind them, Rovers regained the lead through Josh Hodgson. Hall's delayed pass sent the hooker away for his 14th try of the season but Dobson's conversion hit the upright and gave Wakefield a chance.
The Wildcats seized their opportunity, Scott Taylor palming the ball into the in-goal area for Kyle Wood to score. Sykes missed the straightforward conversion that would have won the game and, with the scores tied at 30-30, he tried his luck with a drop goal that fell well short.
However, his second attempt, from much closer in, dramatically won the game for Wakefield and dropped Rovers out of the play-offs.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals