In the heat of a bank holiday Sunday afternoon, Wakefield succumbed to their fifth successive loss as Huddersfield ran away with the match in the second half. Despite both teams being in the top eight, they had been in relatively poor form coming into the game.
The controversial disciplinary action against Danny Brough and Danny Sculthorpe, as well as the injuries of Brad Drew and Oliver Wilkes, had severely depleted Wakefield’s squad, and it showed in this game. From the off they looked unorganised, out-enthused and out-muscled by a strong Huddersfield team.
Wakefield, however, bounced back. Huddersfield conceded numerous penalties and Wakefield were able to force several goal line dropouts and a superb 40-20 by Sam Obst. This pressure eventually paid off, as Wakefield was able to take the lead for the only time in the game shortly afterwards. A clever inside ball by Tony Martin allowed Matt Blaymire to cut through the Huddersfield defence from ten metres out.
However, from this point, Wakefield was not at the races. Huddersfield’s pack dominated their opponents, and only Wakefield’s Richard Moore was punching any holes up the middle of the pitch.
Huddersfield scored two tries before half time to reassert their authority on the game. The first came off the back of a Scott Moore 40-20. Moore’s clever work down the blind-side allowed Leroy Cudjoe to throw a cutout pass for Hodgson to score an easy try in the corner.
A few minutes later, Paul Whatuira again combined with Hodgson down the same flank with a drop-off ball put Hodgson into space. Hodgson was then able to draw the full back and put Cudjoe in for a well-deserved try. Raleigh had a “try” disallowed before half time as Huddersfield deservedly went in eight points in the lead.
Although close on the scorecard, Wakefield in the second half could not stop a rampant Huddersfield side. They continued where they left off in the first, with a try after 43 minutes as Robinson threw yet another drop-off ball for Brown to scythe through the Wakefield defence from ten metres out.
The tries continued at regular intervals after that, and Wakefield never looking like fighting back. Jason Demetriou threw a soft interception that allowed the impressive Moore to score from 40 metres out.
Strong running by the Huddersfield pack and impressive ball control did not allow Wakefield to contain the field position of the Huddersfield side. A good offload put Robinson through a gaping hole up the middle and he drew the full back to put Whatuira in. A few minutes later Robinson cut through the line from dummy-half on the back of strong running by the Huddersfield pack. Support play by Hodgson put him in for his second of the afternoon.
After an impressive move that resulted in Jamahl Lolesi and Cudjoe combining to break down the flank, Moore put Lolesi in down the blind side as he out muscled his opponent and reached out to score.
A scrappy end of the game resulted in Hodgson claiming his hat trick with an intercepted try for 60 metres out, despite the committed pursuit of Obst. The ten-try romp concluded with Moore supporting a Whatuira break down the flank and scoring an easy try.
Conceding forty points in the second-half did not bode well for the troubled Wakefield side in the forthcoming weeks. The disciplinary action against Brough and Sculthorpe appears to have damaged the cohesiveness of the team.