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Super League: Ben Cockayne scores hat-trick to see off Hull KR
Ben Cockayne scored a hat-trick against his old club to help Wakefield bounce back from their mauling at Bradford with a 36-20 triumph over Hull KR.
Boosted by the return of influential half-back Tim Smith, the Wildcats made the most of the sin-binning of Graeme Horne to burst into an 18-0 lead during the first half at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
The injury-hit Robins - who saw Lincoln Withers stretchered off in the opening minute of the contest - did close to within a score in the second half, only for Cockayne to dash them at the death with a late treble.
There was little to choose between the two sides until Horne saw yellow in the 16th minute, leading to the hosts crossing three times in a hurry.
Paul Aiton got the first of them thanks to Smith's offload before the latter combined with Richard Mathers to create the chance for Reece Lyne to score his first try for the club.
On the next set Wakefield sliced open the visiting defence again, captain Danny Kirmond going through untouched before kicking to the right corner for team-mate Peter Fox to finish.
Yet Hull KR refused to go away; Cory Paterson got them on the scoreboard on the half-hour mark with a barnstorming run, including a devastating hand-off on fellow Australian Smith, before then immediately going from scorer to provider, bursting clear to set up Craig Hall.
Half time came at just the right time for the Wildcats, though, as they regrouped during the break and returned to the field to score the first try of the second period through Dean Collis.
The Robins saw Con Mika placed on report for a sickening head-to-head collision with Kyle Amor, though thankfully the stretcher wasn't required for a second time, but were given a boost when Kirmond saw yellow for Wakefield.
Josh Hodgson darted over from dummy-half on the very next set and Hull KR got to within four when David Hodgson seized on Michael Dobson's grubber.
However, Dobson's failure with two conversion attempts, as well as on-loan forward Dale Ferguson missing out on a try on debut when he knocked on trying to ground the ball over the line, proved costly for Rovers, who have now lost their last eight Super League outings on the spin.
The Wildcats rubbed salt in their wounds by pulling clear in the closing quarter, Cockayne on three occasions diving over in the left corner.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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