Mar 10 2013
Alan Hunte's interview for the Salford job ended in a 23-23 draw as Paul Sykes belatedly found his range with the boot to earn Wakefield a point with a 78th-minute drop goal.
Former St Helens star Hunte is holding the shop for the Reds while extrovert owner Marwan Koukash embarks on a public search for a replacement for Phil Veivers, who lost his job a week ago.
His men were outscored by four tries to five but, thanks to Sykes' record of one conversion from five, thought they had won it with seven minutes left when Marc Sneyd landed a one-pointer. But Sykes would have a say to give Wakefield something and they may well now take issue with a 40th-minute Sneyd penalty they felt did not go between the posts.
Peter Fox gave Wakefield side a second-minute lead as he went in for the fifth game in a row. Even though Sykes failed to convert it was a start Hunte could have done without, but his men drew level with 13 minutes on the clock as Jodie Broughton snaffled his first of the season after a Matty Ashurst break carved Wakefield open.
Like Sykes, Sneyd was unable to goal but he had no such problems as the 20-minute mark passed, splitting the posts from bang in front after Lee Jewitt ran off the Salford bench and dived over the line from close range with his first touch.
If Salford had been targeting Wakefield's right side, then the Wildcats were going after their left and with 12 minutes of the first half remaining, they burst it open with a brilliant last-tackle try. Tim Smith's no-look pass allowed captain Richard Mathers to go through and he played Dean Collis in for a score, although Sykes' conversion failure left Salford just ahead.
And they pushed further in front just seconds later as Theo Fages stumbled in but Tim Smith would get Wakefield running again with another brilliant pass finding the midriff of Frankie Mariano who did the rest.
Sneyd's penalty on the hooter gave Salford a four-point half-time lead and that was doubled seven minutes after the restart, as Jack Murphy cashed in a free run to the line after a Mathers pass was coughed up by Lee Smith.
In keeping with the game, a response was not long in coming as Danny Washbrook slid over off another Tim Smith pass, but Sykes' third failure left the gap at four points and when Smith limped off injured with 20 minutes left, Salford looked to be in the driving seat.
Wakefield would change that, though, levelling things up with 13 minutes left as Ben Cockayne celebrated his England call-up this week with a seventh try of the season before Sneyd and Sykes exchanged drop goals.