Matt Hauser, racing angry after a case of mistaken identity saw the Aussie initially disqualified and then hastily reinstated for a false start that should have been tagged to Eagles’ team-mate Jamie Riddle (South Africa), impressively took 11 seconds out of Wilde and Yee in the second swim to snatch the lead going into the deciding, pursuit start bike-swim-run third stage.Hauser even had the advantage of a “short chute” on the closing run but could not hold off Wilde who had swum shoulder-to-shoulder, stroke-for-stroke with his trans-Tasman rival and then took more juice out of Hauser and Yee with some impressive bike handling. An early kick on the final 1.6km run left Yee languishing and not even the last-ditch short-cut could save Hauser from the fast-finishing Kiwi “Falcon”.“It’s awesome to back it up [in London] after such a hard four weeks,” said Wilde who had the double satisfaction of beating Yee for the first time since his win in the same race 12 months earlier.Yee, the defending Super League series champion, was racing as a wildcard entry for the Rhinos in what will be his sole Super League start of 2022 as he focuses on the big Olympic distance events ahead. It means the door is ajar for Wilde who will no doubt see a lot more of Hauser in the Super League races ahead: Munich (Sept. 11), Malibu (Sept. 17), Toulouse (Oct. 2) and Neom, Saudi Arabia (Oct.29).“Honestly I feel actually extremely sorry for Matt Hauser,” Wilde continued after Sunday’s start-line drama.
“Unfortunately his partner [team-mate Riddle] got the penalty but unfortunately he [Hauser] had to serve it. Matt raced amazing out there and I actually didn’t realise he had a short chute so I when he turned around early, I thought, man, I’m going to have to work for this and yeah, really happy to bring it home.”