After just 4 rounds of Super League XII, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have leap-frogged the rest of the clubs to go top of the table.
The Wildcats have won three of their four opening rounds, the latest one coming against Hull FC at the KC Stadium. It was John Kear’s first return to Hull since being axed by the club last season, just months after guiding them to Challenge Cup glory in 2005 but Kear was the one who left with a smile on his face last Sunday. The Wildcats walked away with the two points in the bag after a 6-19 victory, courtesy of tries from Jason Demetriou, Paul March and Brett Ferres and 7 points from stand-off Jamie Rooney.
The last time Wakefield was top of any elite division, was after Round 3 in the 1988/1989 season, when Wakefield Trinty; as they were then known, won promotion and had the likes of Steve Ella, Mark Graham, Brian Jackson and Andy Kelly in the squad. The Wildcats won Warrington, Wigan and Hull and after 3 rounds of the season, Trinity were top of the ladder.
In 1999, Wakefield gained promotion to the Super League after winning the Northern Ford Premiership at the end of the 1998 season against Featherstone Rovers and changed their name to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
The Wildcats struggled for numerous years and were involved in the relegation battle on a number of occasions. Wakefield’s best season thus far came in 2004 with Shane McNally and Tony Smith at the helm when the Wildcats reached the play-offs and pulled off a remarkable victory over Hull FC in the Elimination Semi Final.
The 2006 season saw the Wildcats get themselves into a difficult situation and facing the possibility of relegation, but John Kear and Paul Broadbent took over at Belle Vue with 6 games remaining and guided the Wildcats to Super League safety. The off-season saw Kear recruit well, investing in home grown English talent instead of turning to the Australian NRL.
The 2007 season got underway with a trip to Craven Park to face the new boys; Hull KR, unfortunately, a last minute try to the Rovers saw Wakefield lose their opening round. The Wildcats hit back however, and defeated the World Club Champions St Helens and then followed that up with a victory over Salford at Belle Vue. Last Sunday took the Wildcats over to Hull once again, but this time to face the black and whites of the city.
A 19-6 victory took the Wildcats to top of the Engage Super League; an incredible start to the season for John Kear’s men and the coach is extremely happy; “Things are looking very good and the most pleasing aspect of it is that we are identifying areas we need to work on and then working hard in training to improve them. We are then putting them into practice on the field, and as a coach that’s all you can ask for”