Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
34 hours ago
Following on from last week's win against Salford the Wildcats produced another outstanding display at the weekend to defy the odds and claim victory against a very strong Bradford Bulls side riddled with first team experience, retaining their 100% start to the season. This was a good all-round team performance from the young Wildcats with several players staking a claim for a first-team spot.
Both teams were full of vigour in the opening exchanges as they tussled to gain the upper hand. The Bulls pack dented the Wildcats defence with some menacing hit-ups but Wakefield worked tirelessly and remained resolute in defence, offering some threat going forward themselves. The Wildcats opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Gareth Potts found space on the outside and showed great pace to sprint 60 metres, beating two Bulls defenders on his way to the line. It wasn't long before the Bulls hit back with a try from Rob Hawthorne in the corner after a great offload by Wayne Bremner, making the scores 6-6 mid-way through the first half.
On 23 minutes the Bulls took the lead for the first time when a high cross field kick by Cain Southernwood was well claimed in the air by Liam McKay who coolly put Rob Hawthorne in at the corner for his second to make the score 10-6 to the Bulls. But their lead wasn't long lived when Joe Parkinson challenged the Bulls defence in the 28th minute with a run from dummy half before calmly offloading to Mathew Wildie to go over by the side of the posts, Wildie converted edging Wakefield back in front. Five minutes later Bradford regained the lead courtesy of Tom Burgess who produced a rampaging run to bust open the Wildcats defence and score beside the posts but again their lead didn't last long when after 37 minutes Gareth Potts showed strength to power through three Bulls defenders and score in the corner giving the Wildcats a well deserved 18-16 lead going into the break.
Both sides came out showing the same enthusiasm and resilient defence as the first half which resulted in the first twenty minutes of the second half being scoreless. However like in the first period the Wildcats were the first to draw blood when the stupendous Mathew Wildie collected a loose ball and darted away from the Bradford defence before drawing the full back and offloading to Will Colleran, who was in support on his inside, to score beneath the posts. Five minutes later Wakefield produced a sublime flowing move which started from half way and saw the ball go through seven pairs of hands before Wildie went over to further extend the Wildcats lead and double his tally for the game.
Lewis Straughan went over in the corner for the Bulls with ten minutes remaining but it was to prove mere consolation as Wildie showed blistering pace to race the full length of the field to score his hat-trick and top off a tremendous personal performance. The full time score stood at Wildcats 36, Bulls 20.
Next up for the young Wildcats are the reigning Academy Champions, Warrington Wolves who will be looking to bounce back from their defeat to the Leeds Rhinos. The reserves have started their season off fantastically; winning two from two. Get behind the future of our club and come down on Saturday with entry priced at just �3 for adults and �1 for adults. The game is here at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Saturday 12th March with a 2.30pm kick off. Phone 0844 4140665 for more information.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.
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