Wakefield 20-18 Harlequins

A dramatic last minute touchline conversion by Danny Brough secured the two points for the Wakefield Wildcats.

Both sides attacked conservatively as the hot and humid conditions made it difficult to play the game at an intense pace.

Despite putting pressure on Wakefield’s line, Harlequins struggled to score from close range. However, Danny Orr was able to open the scoring after a steady start to the game by both sides. Scott Grix fumbled the ball whilst returning a kick deep in his own half, and Orr reacted quickest and scored underneath the posts.

Harlequins kept up the pressure, dominating field position and possession. Several back-to-back penalties conceded by Wakefield allowed the Harlequins to camp on their line. However, an inaccurate pass went to ground and Brough was the quickest to the ball. He raced 50 metres up field before offloading to Oliver Wilkes to finish.

Wakefield took the lead soon after, and looked the better side going into halftime. A half break by Brad Drew and the resulting offload allowed Tony Martin to scythe through from the half way line, easily rounding the full back to score. The missed conversion by Brough left it at 10-6 at halftime.

Wakefield started the second half strongly. The tightness of the game led Wakefield to opt to kick two early penalties, although Brough failed with one.

Harlequins equalized, however, when a Danny Ward offload put Chris Melling through the middle of the field, and the supporting Luke Gale scored under the sticks to leave an easy conversion for Orr.

Another Brough penalty put Wakefield back in the lead. However, Harlequins looked to have snatched the game when they went back in the lead with a Randall try, who had only just returned to the pitch. Weak Wakefield defence allowed Temata to bust up the middle, drawing the full back before putting Chad Randall over for an almost identical try to Gale’s.

Wakefield had all the possession in the dying minutes of the game, forcing repeat sets of sixes on the Harlequins line. A Wakefield knock on relieved the pressure, and appeared to have secured the game for Harlequins. However, Brough was obstructed after a chip kick over the line deep in Wakefield’s half, and the resulting kick to touch put them on the Harlequins ten, despite it bouncing in the field of play before going out. A cross-field run by Brough put Sean Gleeson into space, who skillfully put the winger Grix into the corner to score. A dramatic comeback was ensured after the hooter had sounded when Brough converted from the touchline to seal the two points for Wakefield.

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