Super League: Wakefield Wildcats strike late to beat Leeds Rhinos
Last Updated: 04/07/14 11:21pm
Richard Mathers: scored one and created another among Wakefield's three tries
Richard Owen scored a last-gasp try as Wakefield's revival under James Webster continued with a 16-14 victory over local rivals Leeds Rhinos.
Webster was denied a third straight victory by a late show from Hull FC last weekend but it was his side's turn to strike at the death as Owen took a pass from Richard Mathers to score in the corner.
Afternoon rain made the surface at Belle Vue greasy on top and that contributed to a largely forgettable first half which was edged by Leeds.
Danny Washbrook opened the scoring but the Rhinos hit back through Kallum Watkins and went into the break 8-6 ahead courtesy of a stunning long-range effort from Ben Jones-Bishop.
Mathers edged the Wildcats back in front but Ryan Hall's 15th try of the season put Leeds in control heading into the final 10 minutes.
The Rhinos looked on course for the two points that would have taken them to the First Utility Super League summit but Owen had other ideas as Wakefield recorded their first win over their neighbours in eight attempts.
Leeds head coach Brian McDermott named an inexperienced bench with a number of key men on the sidelines and his seasoned starters almost found themselves behind early on.
Chris Riley thought he had scored but his effort was ruled out by the video referee after Reece Lyne put a foot in touch.
The extra official was called upon again when Washbrook raced on to Tim Smith's chip over the top and the decision went in the Wildcats' favour, with the forward deemed to have applied downward pressure on the ball.
The Rhinos were strangers to the Wakefield 20 in the opening half an hour as errors blighted their performance.
It was a mistake by Owen which gave Leeds good field position for their first chance of the match on 33 minutes, which was clinically finished by Watkins on the right edge after taking a pass from Liam Sutcliffe.
The Leeds stand-off missed the conversion from out wide but a brilliant solo effort from Jones-Bishop ensured the visitors went into the break in front.
Tom Briscoe fielded a kick deep inside his own half and gave the ball to the stand-in full-back, who held off the challenges of three would-be Wakefield tacklers to race clear and score.
Possession was the aim of the game at the start of the second period as both teams showed more caution in attack.
Wakefield broke the pattern of play when Smith switched the direction of the attack and Mathers reached out to score after taking an inside ball from Paul Sykes.
Elliot Minchella lost the ball stretching for the line as Leeds threatened to draw level, something they did manage to do 12 minutes from time.
Danny McGuire sent a high kick towards the corner which was well claimed and touched down by Hall.
Sutcliffe slotted over his first goal of the night to give the Rhinos a two-point advantage.
Jones-Bishop failed to take advantage of another break before McGuire had a try ruled out and that proved crucial as Owen went sliding over in the corner to win it for Wakefield at the death.