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There was little to separate the two sides in a tight opening quarter in testing conditions at the Mobile Rocket Stadium. A howling gale and persistent rain prior to kick-off set the tone for a conservative start from both sides, although Craig Hall’s break and a strong run from Weller Hauraki forced Wakefield onto the defensive early on.

With chances few and far between, Hall opted to take on a 50-metre penalty goal after David Fifita was pulled up for a late hit on George Lawler. The winger had the distance, only for the ball to hit the post and land in the arms of Danny Brough who cleared Trinity’s lines.

The Robins lost the services of James Greenwood to a nasty-looking knee injury shortly after and ten minutes before the break the deadlock was broken when Rovers were penalised for a hand on the ball just short of their line. Brough slotted over the simple kick and as the teams returned to halfway for the restart, referee Tom Grant sent Danny McGuire to the sin-bin for a word out of place.

Despite that numerical disadvantage, the Red and Whites levelled the scores with a 40-metre penalty from the boot of Hall four minutes from half-time to send the sides into the break locked at two-apiece.

It was clear that the team that kept their patience and composure were going to come out on top, and it took some good scrambling defence from the Robins to deny Justin Horo twice in consecutive attacks in the first few minutes of the second period.

Unsurprisingly it was a penalty that delivered the first points after half-time, and it came from the boot of Brough after Keegan Hirst was ruled to have been held down.

Wakefield looked to be getting on top of the Robins, controlling the field position battle and winning penalties as a result, which saw Rovers placed on a team-warning for consecutive infringements on their line. But despite that, the Red and Whites dug deep in defence to see off four back-to-back sets of Trinity pressure, and they were rewarded with two penalties of their own, the second of which gave Hall the simple task of tying the scores once again.

The game was anyone’s to win in the final quarter, and it took an exceptional piece of defensive work from Hall to deny Tom Johnstone at the corner after Reece Lyne’s break had put the home side on the attack. Jacob Miller picked the winger out with a sweeping cross-kick, but Hall did brilliantly to recover and force the Wakefield man to put a foot on the sideline.

With ten minutes to go Brough’s third penalty goal of the afternoon edged Trinity ahead once again, but that lasted just three minutes as the Robins poached the all-important and long-awaited first try of the game.

Josh Drinkwater’s cross-kick was pushed back by Keinhorst, and the ever-alert McGuire was in the right place at the right time to pick up the pieces and scamper in at the corner.

Hall kept his cool to slot over the conversion from the touchline, and although Wakefield threw everything they had at Rovers’ line in the final seven minutes, the Red and Whites stood strong and chalked-up a huge win.

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