Round two of the group stages of the 1895 Trophy pitched a York RLFC Knights coming into the game on the back of a 114-10 win over Newcastle last week, against the recently relegated Wakefield Trinity who were taking part in their first competitive fixture of the season as they travelled to the LNER Community Stadium.
Wakefield, under new ownership and the coaching of the vastly experienced Daryl Powell, were expected to push aside all challengers in their quest for a return to Super League but at this early stage of the season there were plenty unknowns which Andrew Henderson’s York hoped to exploit.
This was the first meeting between the two sides in almost twenty-seven years, York victorious on that occasion by 13-10 at the Huntingdon Stadium.
It took Wakefield just five minutes to open the scoring when Luke Gale took a Lachlan Wamsley deft kick to go in for a simple opener. Max Jowitt added the conversion for a 6-0 lead for Trinity.
Three minutes later and the visitors were in again, this time Jermaine McGillvary finding space down the touchline after taking a Griffin offload. Jowitt was on target, this one in off the left post, to extend the lead to 12-0 after ten minutes.
It was turning into a procession on twelve as Josh Griffin took a short pass to crash over from five metres for the third Trinity try of the afternoon, Powell’s side on fire and giving the Knights no chance to get a foothold in the game. Jowitt added the conversion, the home support already subdued.
Try four came on twenty-two when Walmsley back himself to go for the line and stretch to score in the corner. Jowitt was again on target, knocking them over from the sidelines, for a 24-0 lead, the home side not in the game.
Into the last ten minutes of the half Wakefield weren’t having it all their own way as York tried to play their way back into the game but it was Trinity who took a 24-0 lead into the sheds.
It took five minutes of the second half for Wakefield to extend their lead, big forward Caleb Uele pushing to the line and stretching out to score. Jowitt was on target for the fifth time out of five attempts.
The sixth try of the afternoon came on fifty-three with Walmsley getting his second, crossing in the corner off a Jack Teanby pass and improving the angle for Jowitt to get the kick to make the score 36-0.
The Knights avoided the nilling on seventy when Will Jubb took the pass from Jesse Dee to dive in. The conversion attempt went wide of the uprights, York thirty-two points adrift with nine minutes remaining.
After the final hooter Walmsley completed his hat-trick as he went over in the left corner from a Max Jowitt pass. Jowitt missed his first of the afternoon, Wakefield recording a 40-4 win.
In the end it was an easy win for Daryl Powell’s men as they came out of the blocks fast and didn´t allow York to get anywhere near their line until the closing ten minutes. Wakefield will be the side to beat in 2024, maintaining their professional set up with a hope of an immediate return to the topflight at the end of the season. York were brought back down to earth after their massive win last week, Newcastle must be dreading another one hundred point defeat in the third game in the group.
York Knights: Brown, Harrison, Dee, Keinhorst, Towse, Williams, Harris, Ta’ai, Jubb (T), Fitzsimmons, Field, Bailey, Thompson. Subs: Teanby, Santi, Pemberton, Reynolds. 18th Man: Severs.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt (6G), McGillvary (T), Thornley, Pratt, Walmsley (3T), Lino, Gale (T), Bowden, Hood, Atoni, Ashurst, Griffin (T), Pitts. Subs: Uele (T), Cozza, Boothroyd, Doyle. 18th Man: Lawford.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 0-10, 0-12, 0-16, 0-18, 0-22, 0-24 : HT: 0-28, 0-30, 0-34, 0-36, 4-36, 4-40 :FT.
Lead Exchanges: Wakefield.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas.