Following a 58-0 drubbing last week, Wakefield Trinity faced the Catalans Dragons once again, but this time in the Challenge Cup Sixth Round, as the competition got back underway.
Despite Sam Tomkins suspended, the Dragons were still not lacking in attacking options as Josh Drinkwater’s short kick was weighted perfectly for David Mead to chase and ground for the opening score in just the fifth minute.
Trinity were more solid in defence this week, as Innes Senior was holding his own against Israel Folau.
With just over 20 minutes gone, the Dragons were working their way back into the Wakefield half and another pinpoint kick from Drinkwater brought about a try.
The half-back spotted the space over the top of Max Jowitt and Fouad Yaha was the recipient who gathered and scored in the corner.
With ten minutes to go until the break, Jacob Miller made a break down the middle of the park before releasing Jordan Crowther
Crowther was tackled, but a quick play the ball followed and Ryan Hampshire’s kick ahead was chased down by Jay Pitts and the former London Broncos player grounded the loose ball to get the away side back into the game.
Despite Catalans losing Michael McIlorum to a Head Injury Assessment, they did manage to win a penalty for offside right in front of the posts and Maloney added the extras for an eight-point lead.
A third Catalans try came in the 37th minute, and it came from yet another Drinkwater kick.
Drinkwater dropped the ball in between Jack Croft and Max Jowitt for Mead to claim and drop over the line to score his second try.
HALF-TIME: Catalans Dragons 20-6 Wakefield Trinity
Wakefield started the second half the brighter of the two sides, and clearly weren’t letting last weeks defeat affect them,
Hampshire dribbled a kick along the floor, and Pitts and Jowitt both chasing and grounding the ball at the same time.
It went down as a Pitts try, but after Hampshire’s conversion was given, although it looked wide, the score was 20-12.
In the 54th minute, McIlorum connected high with the face of Romain Navarrete much to the dislikening of Jay Pitts who ran in to confront the hooker.
The rest of the players joined in but both McIlorum and Pitts were sent to the sin-bin.
The penalty that Wakefield were awarded was reversed due to Pitts’ actions, and two tackles later Benjamin Garcia picked up from dummy-half and through a huge gap in the Trinity line to score.
On the hour mark, Mead picked up his hat-trick as Josh Drinkwater took the ball to the line and, this time, popped the pass to his full-back for another easy score.
Drinkwater was running the show for the Dragons as he dropped the ball once again onto his left boot and Matt Whitley was quickest to ground the ball.
The players began to throw handbags once again with just over five minutes to go as Hampshire was hit late in the tackle.
This gifted Wakefield good field position, and also a third try.
Tinirau Arona received the ball at first receiver, showed a little bit of footwork and got past Garcia to score.
Chris Chester’s side were not finished with scoring either though as Kyle Wood put in a third tackle kick which was only picked up by Jacob Miller who collected the ball on the bounce and scored.
With Wakefield having to score 12-points in the final minute, the game looked gone, but they searched for a late consolation.
Miller dropped the ball in the final seconds, with Maloney picking up and the final hooter blowing as Catalans progressed into the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup.
FULL-TIME: Catalans Dragons 36-24 Wakefield Trinity
Mourgue, Yaha, Folau, Mead, Davies, Drinkwater, Maloney, Maria, McIlorum, Casty, Whitley, Tomkins, Garcia
Interchanges: Jullien, Goudemand, Baitieri, Kasiano
Tries: Mead (3), Yaha, Garcia, Whitley
Goals: Maloney (6/7)
Walker, Senior, Tupou, Croft, Jowitt, Hampshire, Miller, Fifita, Wood, Arona, Pitts, Ashurst, Westerman
Interchanges: Crowther, Navarette, Tanginoa, Kopczak
Tries: Pitts (2), Arona, Miller
Goals: Hampshire (4/4)
Referee: C. Kendall
Touch Judges: L. Moore, T. Grant
Video Referee: J. Child