Marc Sneyd’s spectacular drop goal from inside his own half with two minutes remaining earned Hull FC a third consecutive Super League win.
It looked like it would end all square when Mason Caton-Brown intercepted the ball on halfway and ran in to level for Wakefield with six minutes left, but a moment of magic from Hull’s scrum half stole victory.
Wakefield will feel hard done by having been the better of the two sides for much of the game, but have now lost four games in a row since their great start to the season.
It was far from Hull’s best performance of the season, with their game littered with penalties and errors in the first half which put them 18-8 behind.
That allowed Wakefield to dominate territory, but impressive goal-line defence kept them in it early on, particularly a last ditch tackle on Tyler Randell after Hakim Maloudi dropped a pass.
Surprisingly it was Hull who took the lead, as Sneyd nailed a penalty before his kick caused a scramble which was finally ended as Jordan Abdull scooped up the loose ball to score.
More great goal-line defence kept James Batchelor at bay but it was another error that gave them the first try, as Hull dropped in the Wakefield half and Jacob Miller ran clear before finding Bill Tupou on his outside to score.
Tupou got his second from a fine Trinity move, as they worked the ball left and created an overload for Jowitt to slip the winger in, and they had another before the break as Miloudi dropped a Miller kick in the in-goal area and Caton-Brown was in the right place to touch down.
That gave them an 18-8 lead but Hull fought back in the second half. They closed the gap when Albert Kelly found a gap in the defence to score, before Sneyd launched a perfect high kick for Fetuli Talanoa to grab his tenth of the season and edge them ahead.
Batchelor’s penalty levelled the scores, but Talanoa was there again as Super League’s top try scorer grabbed another from a well-worked overload on the left.
Caton-Brown looked to have earned Wakefield a point with his try, but Sneyd’s trusted left boot got Hull the win.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
HULL NEED TO TIDY UP
They got the win in the end but for Hull FC there will be frustration that that they made it so difficult.
Penalties and errors basically gifted Wakefield the first half, and three of the four tries they conceded in total were very avoidable.
Two came from carelessness in possession which allowed breaks, and the other from an inexcusable drop from Miloudi. The full-back struggled on debut with a number of errors and, although he picked up in the second half, he is unlikely to be challenging Jamie Shaul anytime soon.
MIXED BAG FROM MIXED BACKLINE
There were notable absences from the Wakefield backline, with Scott Grix, Tom Johnstone, Ben Jones-Bishop and Liam Finn all rested after the loss at Castleford on Thursday.
Max Jowitt was comfortable at full-back, while Bill Tupou’s two tries on the wing were impressive from the centre regular.
However it took gifts from the opposition to score most of their tries, as they often struggled to find a way past a well organised defence. The absence of Finn was huge with Ryan Hampshire unable to have the same impact and Jacob Miller struggling as he tried to do even more work.
Man Of The Match- Marc Sneyd (Hull FC)
It was a game with few standout performers, so Sneyd nicks it for the crucial moment that won the game.
When Trinity managed to keep Hull inside their own half with some great defence in the final minutes it looked like Sneyd wouldn’t have his chance to shine. But it mattered not, as his left boot drove the ball more than 50m between the posts for a spectacular end to the game.
His assist for Talanoa’s second try deserves to be recognised too, with the chip over the Wakefield defence just as perfect as the drop goal.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
Hull FC head coach Lee Radford:
“We don’t like to do things easy way. Hopefully it gives us plenty of confidence going into the St Helens game on Friday.
“I thought we were too far out to try [a drop goal]. It was an unbelievable effort from him in those conditions with the ball as wet as it probably was.”
Wakefield head coach Chris Chester:
“It was gut wrenching to be honest. There are a lot of disappointed people in the changing room.
“We did a lot of good things and I can’t fault the effort and spirit of my players.
“We’re not far away, and we feel robbed with a 52m drop goal in those conditions.”
Hull FC 27
Tries: Abdull, Kelly, Talanoa (2)
Goals: Sneyd (5)
Drop Goals: Sneyd
Wakefield Trinity 26
Tries: Tupou (2), Caton-Brown (2)
Goals: Batchelor (5)
Drop Goals: n/a
Hull FC: Miloudi; Faraimo, Connor, Griffin, Talanoa; Kelly Sneyd; Paea, Washbrook, Bowden; Minichiello, Turgut, Abdull.
Interchanges: Fash, Green, Litten, Taylor.
Wakefield: Jowitt; Tupou, Lyne, Arundel, Caton-Brown; Miller, Hampshire; Huby, Randell, Hirst; Ashurst, Batchelor, Horo.
Interchanges: Wood, Pauli, Arona, Baldwinson.
Referee: Liam Moore