Wakefield were annihilated by Widnes Vikings last weekend while Halifax notched their first points of the Qualifiers by beating Leigh Centurions. Can Fax make it two in a row or can Trinity, without Tim Smith, Kevin Locke and Reece Lyne, get back to winning ways?
Last Time Out
Wakefield played last Saturday against Widnes Vikings, and the game never really looked to be winnable for the Wildcats. Widnes were 22-0 up at half-time after tries from Lloyd White and Aaron Heremaia, as well as a double from Rhys Hanbury. Hanbury’s third try of the game came in the early stages of the second half. Kevin Brown also notched a four-pointer before Lee Smith got Wakefield off the mark on 54 minutes. Hanbury scored his fourth try on the hour, and the final score of the game went to Widnes, and Paddy Flynn. A dire day to say the least for Wakefield and they’ll need to bounce back quickly if they’re to stand a chance of finishing in the top three.
Halifax posted an impressive victory over Leigh Centurions at The Shay. Leigh won the two previous encounters earlier on in the year but last Sunday was Fax’s day in every way. Similar to Widnes against Wakefield, Halifax were well up at the break having scored two less points than the Vikings. Dane Manning, Ross Divorty and James Saltonstall were the try-scorers for the hosts before Steve Tyrer kicked a penalty goal to make it a four score game. After the restart, Leigh came out very motivated and pumped up. They scored the first two tries of the half through Adam Higson and Fuifui Moimoi, leaving Fax looking behind their shoulder and seeing the Centurions close in. But Paul Rowley’s men never got any closer to Halifax. A try from Scott Murrell stopped any potential comeback before Tyrer recorded a well deserved try. A penalty goal from the centre wrapped things up nicely for the West Yorkshire side, who will go into this weekend’s game with confidence by the bucket load.
The utility value of players in the Halifax squad will have been a delight to experiment with over the past few months for Richard Marshall. One of those players with such value is Ben Johnston, who can ply his trade at both full-back and half-back. He played at full-back against Leigh and made a few breaks to stake his claim as the last line of defence for the remaining Qualifiers matches. Brian Smith picked Kevin Locke to play at full-back against Widnes last weekend but the New Zealand international is unavailable for Saturday which paves the way for Lee Smith to switch from the wing.
It’d take a brave man to back against Halifax after winning their first match last weekend, plus all the commotion going on at Wakefield during the week. However, the Super League side will be boosted by the fact star half-back Jacob Miller has signed a new two year deal. The former Hull FC man will be absolutely vital to Trinity’s chances of winning in round six, so can Halifax keep him quiet and win their second match of the middle eights? – Wakefield by 10