Rugby League decamped to Anfield in Liverpool for the thirteenth Magic Weekend in the fifth different venue after four years of matches in Newcastle. All twelve Super League teams were on the road and the opening fixture pitched third against sixth with the Dragons hoping to consolidate their position while Trinity had their eye on third spot themselves.
Both sides have below average Magic records with Trinity having only won on four out of twelve appearances while the Dragons can only claim one more win and a draw from the same number of appearances. The sides have met once previously at Magic, in Newcastle in 2016, when Wakefield won by 25-24.
The game had all the chances to be a spectacular curtain-raiser, it was down to the players to provide it.
After a couple of early mistakes it was the Dragons who looked to have claimed the first points through Fouad Yaha but an excellent tackle from Max Jowitt stopped him from grounding the ball.
On fifteen Yaha was on hand to ground a Tony Gigot placed grubber to the left corner to get the scoreboard moving. Gigot was unable to add the conversion from tight to the touchline but in a nip-and-tuck game the French side were in the lead.
David Mead was held up over the line once again by Jowitt on twenty-three and two plays later the Dragons spilled the ball. Catalans should have been at least a dozen points up bit last ditch Wakefield defence was keeping them out.
On the half hour a flowing move downfield saw Gigot end with the ball in hand a couple of metres out for a walk in try, amidst protests from the Wakefield fans for a forward pass. The full back converted his own try for a 10-0 lead.
After interference at the play the ball by Wakefield, Gigot added a second goal to send his side in with a 12-0 half time lead.
Within fifty seconds of the restart Trinity opened the scoring through a Kyle Wood try with a score from inside their own half after a sensational Mason Caton-Brown break down the left wing. Ryan Hampshire added the conversion and Wakefield were back within six.
Three minutes later Wakefield went in for their second as Danny Kirmond spun out of the tackle and struggled to get the ball on the ground under the tackle. Hamshire added the extras, in off the upright, to level the scores at 12-12.
A Hampshire penalty on forty-seven grabbed the lead for Wakefield, an incredible turnaround. The game had sprung to life within a few minutes of the interval as the Dragons struggled to get their hands on the ball.
Benjamin Garcia restored the Dragons lead on fifty-five with a planned move when he took the Gigot no-look pass and pushed his tackler over the line to ground. Gigot added the conversion for 18-14, the Dragons back in front.
On sixty-eight the scored were level once again when Ben Jones-Bishop was at the end of a left to right passing move to leap in at the corner and ground the ball before going into touch. Hampshire was unable to add the conversion from the touchline. The sides at 18-18 with ten minutes remaining.
A superb Tony Gigot forty metre drop goal on seventy-six edged his side in front, and two minutes later Garcia found his way over the line for his second of the afternoon. When Gigot kicked the conversion, after the hooter had sounded, it signalled a 25-18 Dragons win.
This was a terrific first game at the Magic Weekend to keep the fans at Anfield entertained. The first half was dominated by the Dragons but a great Wakefield fightback almost saw them steal the win. But the calmness and composure of Tony Gigot, kicking a drop goal with just a few moment remaining took the wind out of the Trinity sails and secured the win. The final seven point margin was probably more than the Dragons deserved, but after keeping their calm when going behind, they held their nerve for the win. The Dragons retain third spot, Wakefield still outside the play-off places.
Trinity: Jowitt, Jones-Bishop (T), Lyne, Sa’u, Caton-Brown, Miller, Hampshire (3G), Fifita, Wood (T), Kopczak, Ashurst, Kirmond (T), King. Subs: Batchelor, England, Randell, Tanginoa.
Dragons: Gigot (T, 4G, DG), Tierney, Mead, Wiliame, Tierney, Yaha (T), Langi, Smith, Bousquet, Da Costa, Moa, Garcia (2T), Whitley, Casty. Subs: Edwards, Simon, Baitieri, Kasiano.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas.