2023 is proving a tense year for the teams propping up the table in Super League, particularly when Hull FC travelled to Wakefield to take on Trinity in front of the Sky cameras on Thursday night.
The Black and Whites arrived looking for their third win on the trot, on the other hand they are the only team to concede more points than Wakefield in the eleven games played to date but the visitors were the firm favourites with the bookies ahead of kick-off.
Jake Clifford got the game under way for FC after a stand-out performance in last week's win over Wigan.
It was the visitors who had the early pressure deep in the Trinity half for the opening 10 minutes, but their last tackle relied on monotonous high kicks into the corner, which the Trinity back three handled with comfort.
Then, 15 minutes into the game, Trinity got a six again with a kick that was charged down by Hull. Trinity's attack came to nothing and while Hull then took play back to the Wakefield try line but Jake Trueman - making his first start in Hull colours - failed to capitalise on his own kick into the in-goal.
Just a minute later, FC won three penalties in row on the left wing and Adam Swift made his third or fourth attacking run down the touchline - successfully grounded the ball by the corner post. Clifford converted from the touchline and Trinity were behind 0-6.
With the half hour approaching, Wakefield won a penalty in front of the sticks just 10 metres out and chose to tap. They kept the pressure on the Wakefield line, including winning a set restart, but failed to turn the position into a score with on-out runs by a flat attack with no depth.
With the league's two worst defences on the pitch the game opened up at both ends - and more effective attacks might have seen more scores on the board as half-time approached, but neither were showing the ability to convert pressure into points.
However the gaps were there in the defences and as the players marched off for the half-time break, they knew that just successful move in attack could prove key for the team who got it together.
But would it happen in a game featuring the worst attack in the history of Super League and the two worst defences of this season?
When the second half got under way, the omens were not good: the first two sets each ended when the ball carrier lost it forward and surrendered possession
But once the game settled down Brad Dwyer broke through the Trinity line and ran clear, passing out to Trueman who ran with him in support. Full back Will Dagger was quick to get onto Trueman, but the Hull half got an offload out to Dwyer.
The Trinity defence couldn't stop Dwyers's next pass to Carlos Tuimavave, who ran in for the game's second score. Clifford converted and the score was 0-12.
That became a 14-point gap when Wakefield gave away a penalty in front of their posts as the game clock ticked over to 60 minutes, which Clifford made no mistake with.
And then the game was stretched to eighteen when Liam Sutcliffe got the ball on the end of a passing move along the line to the left, letting him drift through the defence and score another try. Clifford's conversion made it 0-20.
But just two minutes later, Matty Ashurst crossed for the home team, giving Wakefield their first points of the game. Will Dagger's conversion meant the home team saw a chink of light, but were left with just eleven minutes to try and make the most of it.
Unfortunately, at the same time, impressive Hull full back David Litten had to limp off the field with an ankle injury.
As the game started to wind down, Hull forward Scott Taylor who had put in a stirling defensive effort, found himself in possession yards from the Wakefield line and backed into two Wakefield defenders. He took them with him into the in-goal area and reached down to score a deserved try.
The match nearly ended on an even more bizarre try when Clifford got hold of a short Trinity kick-off and raced away to put the ball down in the Wakefield in-goal, only for referee Jack Smith to call play back, ruling the kick-off hadn't travelled 10m.
Wakefield stay rooted at the bottom, with both the worst attack and worst defence in the league after that game. Hull climbed to within shouting distance of a potential play-off spot at the end of the season.
Half Time: 0-6.
Full Time: 6-26.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6. HT. 0-10, 0-12, 0-18, 0-20, 4-20, 6-20, 6-24, 6-26.
Lead Exchanges: Hull.
Wakefield Trinity: Dagger (G); Lineham, Gaskell, Langi, Taufgua; Smith, Lino; Proctor, Bowes, Whitbread, Tanginoa, Ashurst (T), Pitts. Subs: Hood, Battye, Eseh, Bowden. 18th Man: Crowther.
Hull FC: Litten; Swift (T), Sutcliffe (T), Tuimavave (T), Scott; Trueman, Clifford (4G, P); Taylor (T), Houghton, Sao, Griffin, Lane, Lovodua. Subs: Brown, Dwyer, McIntosh, Satae. 18th Man: Gardiner.
Referee: Jack Smith.