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Super League: Wakefield Trinity 19-18 Hull FC – Thriller decided with golden-point drop-goal

Jacob Miller swung his right boot to nail the golden point drop goal for Wakefield
Wakefield (6) 19
Tries: Ashurst, Hall, Gaskell goals: Linen 3 Drop-goal: Miller
Hull F.C. (18) 18
Tries: Swift 2, McIntosh goals: Gallery 3

Jacob Miller’s golden-point drop-goal ended Wakefield’s seven-game losing run and earned two precious Super League points against Hull FC.

Trinity needed a second-half fightback to take it to extra time, with scores from Corey Hall and Lee Gaskell leveling the match at 18-18 late on.

Hull looked in control at halfway after tries from Adam Swift and Darnell McIntosh, with Matty Ashurst replying.

They still might have won had Luke Gale not missed two drop-goal attempts.

Injury to playmaker Jake Connor was a second-half blow for the visitors, but likewise Wakefield lost key personnel in the shape of Reece Lyne early on, forcing a reshuffle for Willie Poching’s side.

Victory comes as a major relief for the home fans, players and, in particular, head coach Poching, especially as teams around them at the bottom end of the table – such as Leeds and Salford – had shown signs of improvement in recent games.

Trinity now have a four-point buffer between themselves and bottom side Toulouse, while Hull remain three points behind fourth-placed Huddersfield.

For Hull, it will again raise questions about their ability to see out games and deliver the consistency that had brought them wins over Wigan and Catalans in recent weeks.

While the home side struggled to cope in the first half, as Brett Hodgson’s Black and Whites used their dominant pack and ball players Gale, Connor and Josh Reynolds to good effect, Ashurst’s try from a Miller pass did give them a chance.

Connor had created plenty of chances for Hull, looping a pass to Swift for his first try and fizzing the ball for McIntosh to cross, but went off in the second half during a long period without points.

The rejig at the back seemed to affect Hull’s organization defensively as Hall punished an error for his try and Gaskell took advantage of the chaos to stroll through with the hooter looming.

Miller, who once kicked a near-halfway drop-goal for Trinity on Magic Weekend, succeeded where Hull’s Gale failed. It sparked jubilant scenes on Jubilee weekend around Belle Vue.

Wakefield boss Willie Poching told BBC Radio Leeds:

“I won’t lie. It feels good. There’s a tinge of relief I suppose, but sometimes you just need that as an indication that you’re on the right path with what we’re doing.

“Jake Connor and Luke Gale had some quality touches for them, and we had to return serve with a team effort. To show the fight right to and after the end, talking to some of the players. We had so many opportunities to score, their defense was resolute, they kept knocking us back but we kept our composure and got our rewards.

“I’d have taken 40-0 as well, but the manner of the win and the manner of performance, courage shown to finish the way they did, it shows a lot about where we’re still at and what we’ve got inus.”

Hull FC boss Brett Hodgson told BBC Radio Humberside:

“It’s a terrible way to lose, I think at half-time we should have done enough to win so it’s really disappointing. There have been a couple of those this year which is frustrating. We were very poor in three games against teams we should have beaten, and with respect to Wakefield and where they are the moment, 18-6 up at half-time we should have shut that game out.

“A couple of incidents didn’t help, but we’ll have a look at that and make sure we improve. I’ll be respectful of the referee but I don’t think we got any call today and we had to do too much defending which meant we couldn’t ask enough questions offensively.

“Too many times late in the half in the second, we were kicking early when we should have got to the last play and kicked into the corners and actually controlled that part of the game. Then we had two shots at a field goal which could have gone over for us.”

Wakefield: Gaskell; Murphy, Hall, Lyne, Lineham; Miller, Linen; Fifita, Hood, Whitbread, Ashurst, Pitts, Batchelor

Exchanges: Arona, Tanginoa, Crowther, Butler

Hull F.C.: Conner; McIntosh, Wynne, Scott, Swift; Reynolds, Gale; Evans, Houghton, Taylor, Lane, Ma’u, Brown

Exchanges: Fash, Griffin, Lovodua, Satae

Referee: Marcus Griffiths.

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