Wakefield run riot against shambolic Hull to seal top-eight Super League spot

first_imgHull FC Rugby league Read more Ryan Hampshire kicked 12 goals from 13 attempts as Hull endured their worst defeat in Super League, trailing 72-0 before scoring the last two tries of the match.After finishing fifth last season the hope around Wakefield was that Trinity, one of Super League’s perennial strugglers, could mount another unlikely play-off push this year. Their inconsistency in 2018 will probably scupper any such hope but this Trinity side remain one of the league’s lowest spenders and are one of only three sides that do not stretch to the limit of the competition’s £1.8m salary cap.So for this victory to guarantee a third successive top-eight finish for Wakefield underlines the progress being made. “The pressure has been ridiculous,” Chester said afterwards. “The Catalans and Huddersfield doing as well as they have and Leeds getting the result on Friday put a load of pressure on the boys but they handled it really well.“It’s been a tough couple of weeks but it’s like someone has stuck a pin in me and all the pressure has been relieved. It takes all the pressure off us going into the Super 8s.”Despite Leeds ending a nine-match winless run against Widnes, to keep their fading top-eight hopes alive, wins elsewhere for Huddersfield, Catalans and now Wakefield mean the reigning champions will battle it out against the Championship’s best this summer to secure their continued Super League status. Against remarkably poor opposition Wakefield led 20-0 five minutes before half-time, then marched into the break with tries from Pauli Pauli, Reece Lyne and James Batchelor making it 38-0 on a pivotal afternoon for Hull.With two of the top four clubs losing earlier in the weekend, this was a chance for Hull to resurrect their own Super League play‑off hopes – and with that in mind Lee Radford gambled on the fitness of a number of key players. It backfired spectacularly, a point not lost on their head coach afterwards.“What could have gone wrong went wrong,” Radford said afterwards. “We got the opposite of what we asked for and I take full responsibility for that defeat. I felt we had nothing to lose, our season was on the line.”He said of his side’s semi-final hopes: “I think eight points [Hull are seven behind Castleford with an inferior points difference] is too big a gap if I’m going to be a realist.”And, with the derby looming, Radford added: “We’ve not got much chance to fix it on the field. It’s a short turnaround against Hull KR but we’ve got to salvage some pride.”The best any Hull fan could hope for after half-time here was some semblance of fight – and while they eventually got that with two late tries in the final quarter, by then Wakefield had scored another 34 points – including two for the outstanding Ben Jones‑Bishop – to register their highest score in Super League history.With eight games now remaining Wakefield are eight points off the top four – but afternoons such as this suggest nothing is impossible in the final months of the season. Since you’re here… Share on LinkedIn Super League TV refereeing is ruining rugby league – all in the pursuit of perfection Share on Messenger Share on Twitter Share on WhatsApp Support The Guardiancenter_img Super League XXIII (2018) Wakefield Trinity Chris Chester said “all the pressure has been relieved” after Wakefield Trinity ensured a top-eight finish in Super League with a 12-try rampaging defeat of Hull FC.Wakefield’s season had hung in the balance before this game, although their head coach had been adamant that the Vikings should be looking up rather than over their shoulders. Perhaps he knew all along that Trinity were capable of something this remarkable. Share on Facebook Share via Email … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. 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