In this most confusing and frustrating of seasons, a season to forever be shown in the record books with a little asterisk, round twelve saw Wakefield Trininty to emerge from Covid isolation to take on a Hull FC side who themselves had spend a couple of weeks in enforced exile.
After the redrawing of competition lines earlier in the week, Hull FC were currently lying eighth in the table with Wakefield just behind them in ninth. A win would lift the Airlie Birds up one place in the table, but Wakefield couldn’t alter their league position, regardless of result.
Hull were favourites for the win but Trinity only had a four point lead on the handicap coupon, the stage was set for an interesting encounter.
After a bruising opening eleven minutes Jordan Lane came onto a short ball at speed, after a brilliant crabbing run by Connor Wynn, and went through four Trinity tacklers to get the ball down over the line. Jake Connor added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.
Referee Griffiths put a square in the air after Adam Swift wrestled the ball onto the ground after ? minutes. The video evidence was inconclusive but as Griffiths had sent the decision as a TRY it was awarded. Connor was unable to add the extra two.
On twenty-three Wakefield got their first try of the game with Max Jowitt blasting between two Hull tacklers and getting the ball on the ground. Ryan Hampshire added the conversion to reduce the arrears to four points.
Two minutes later and Trinity were in again when Jowitt completed a forty metre passing move to score unimpeded, Hampshire adding the extras to put Trinity ahead by two.
Adam Swift grabbed his second for FC on thirty-seven to regain the lead but Connor was unable to add the extras, the Airlie Birds were two points ahead, but a last second Hampshire drop goal reduced the arrears again to just a single point at the break.
On fifty-four, Mahe Fonua tapped back a Jake Connor high kick with Andre Savelio, his nose taped to his face after an earlier incident, picked up the bouncing ball and dove over the line to score. Connor added the conversion for 20-13, Trinity needing two tries to regain the lead.
The points were won for Hull on sixty-three after Jordan Lane collected a ricocheted grubber which went straight to hands and the second rower went over for his second of the night. Connor added the conversion for a 26-13 lead.
There was a chink of light for Trinity on seventy after a penalty for a stripped ball. Two tackles in and the big second rower Kelepi Tanganoa weaved his way through the FC defence to get a stunning four pointer. Hampshire added the extra two for 26-19.
Connor Wynne was yellow carded on seventy-three for holding down in the tackle and on seventy-five Tanginoa got his second of the half hitting the line at speed to take a Jowitt pass and canter over. Hampshire was unable to add the extras, Trinity three points adrift.
Plenty of excitement from a game in the bottom half of the table and once which either side could have won with five minutes remaining. In the end it was FC who held on at the death and denied what would have been a sensational fightback from a Trinity side who will count themselves as unlucky not to get anything out of the game.
FC: Wynne (SB on 73), Swift (2T), Fonua, Scott, Faraimo, Kelly, Connor (3G), Bowden, Houghton, Fash, Lane (2T), Savelio (T), Cator. Subs: Brown, Buchanan, Matongo, Satae.
Trinity: Jowitt (2T), Senior, Tupou, Lyne, Jones-Bishop, Bailey, Hampshire (3G, DG), Kopczak, Crowther King, Tanginoa (2T), Pitts, Westerman. Subs: Wood J, Green, Gwaze, Aydin.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths.
Ground: Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens.