THE Giants went into this derby clash determined to find their killer instinct – but instead were left looking at a current run in Super League that has yielded just one win from the last seven outings.
The emphasis through the week in the Giants camp, following their 20-16 home reversal at the hands of Catalan Dragons in round 10, was to ensure that a winning position was turned into two points in the Super League table.
However, the sickening feeling of deja vu reared its ugly head once more as – having been 12-4 up after 25 minutes – the Giants again went through the experience of watching a lead vanish.
For Wakefield it was payback time against the Giants, as this was their first win over their local rivals since 2004.
But probably even more satisfying for former Huddersfield coach John Kear was to watch his depleted Trinity outfit, missing 10 first team choices through injury, grab their first away win of the season.
Notoriously slow starters, the Giants fell behind after just six minutes with scrum half Danny Brough, influential throughout for the Wildcats as he shone in tandem with half-back partner Jamie Rooney, and full-back Scott Grix combining to set winger Aaron Murphy free and he went in at the corner, though was made to wait to celebrate his score as video referee Ian Smith weighed up whether the final pass had been forward.
It was the wake up call that the Giants, who were seeking a 10th successive win in the derby clash, needed and they slipped into gear and began to suggest they could again cruise to success over the Wildcats.
After a couple of attacks foundered for lack of a creative spark, a determined drive by former Wakefield forward Darrell Griffin created the platform for Luke Robinson to scoot through from the play-the-ball for his seventh try in Super League XIII.
Skipper Chris Thorman added the goal and was on target again three minutes later after Rod Jensen pounced for his fifth touchdown of the season when Trinity try scorer Murphy failed to get a grip on Thorman’s kick through.
The Giants were 12-4 to the good and must have felt that one more score could put significant daylight between themselves and their rivals, but Trinity’s industrious half-back pairing had other ideas and got their side ticking again.
They hit back with a try that produced a nightmare moment for Giants winger Michael Lawrence on his 18th birthday, as he failed to cleanly take a bouncing kick from Sam Obst and Trinity centre for Tony Martin was on hand to make the most of his fumble and touch down.
Brough missed a second conversion attempt, but it did not knock him off his stride as he set about orchestrating Trinity’s push to victory in the second half.
Wakefield got the perfect start to the second period.
With the half not yet three minutes old they had their noses in front when form Giants player Oliver Wilkes was handed a gift try as Jensen could only guide a bouncing Rooney kick into the Wakefield substitute’s path.
Martin took over the kicking duties and put Wakefield in front, but the Giants enjoyed a productive five minute spell and pressure yielded two penalties that were kicked by Thorman to give the Giants a two point advantage.
However, while Thorman was enjoying an accurate evening when it came to kicking goals, he was having something of a disaster in defence as his failure to deal with one high kick prompted Brough into sending a series of high ‘bombs’ raining down on the Huddersfield full-back.
The tactic certainly seemed to engender uncertainty in the home defence and the upshot was a couple of penalty chances that were taken by Martin and then Brough to tip the balance back in the visitors favour.
The Giants, who handed 22-year-old former Featherstone winger Danny Kirmond his debut from the bench, attempted to find something in reply but their scramble for crucial points in the final ten minutes only prompted some rather hurried play and handling mistakes proved costly.
With the respite of the Challenge Cup next week, the Giants have a chance to get back on the winning trail at Halifax – but they will need to find their ruthless streak!