Wing wizard Kirk Dixon scored four tries as Daryl Powell enjoyed his first victory as Castleford Tigers head coach with a 49-24 Magic Weekend derby success against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Tigers dominated from start to finish and hardly gave Wildcats a sniff of victory at the Etihad Stadium as Rangi Chase and Justin Carney called the tune in a nine-try victory that made amends for derby defeat on home soil earlier this season.
Darly Clark set the ball rolling in the fifth minute before Carney, Jordan Thompson, Jamie Ellis and Craig Huby added to Dixon’s impressive quartet of tries in the comprehensive victory.
Two tries in three minutes towards the end of the first half, from Dean Collis and skipper Danny Kirmond, gave Wildcats some light at the end of the tunnel with the deficit reduced to ten points. But Tigers replied with a brace of tries of their own to lead by 20 at the interval - and they did not look back.
New signing Taulima Tautai was included on the interchange bench for Wakefield, while Ali Lauitiiti returned at second row, Lee Smith moved to stand-off and Reece Lyne started at centre. Kyle Trout was included on the bench alongside Kyle Amor, who made his 100th career appearance.
Despite doubts over his fitness, Rangi Chase started for Tigers and Weller Hauraki returned at second row.
Tigers made a roaring start and were camped on the Wildcats line for the opening five minutes. They made that pressure count when Clark crossed the line more comfortably than Wakefield would have liked. Jamie Ellis kicked the extras.
Wakefield were struggling to make an impact on the game in the opening exchanges but started to find their way into it on the ten minute mark. Reece Lyne twice made attempts to burst through the Castleford defence but was thwarted on both occasions.
Castleford’s defence was holding firm and their attack built on that solid foundation. From that Wakefield spell of pressure Tigers winger Carney broke free down the left and off-loaded for Ellis to cross and extend the lead for Powell’s men.
It was largely one-way traffic and, after Carney had caused more damage down Caslteford’s left wing five minutes later,on-song Chase slid a kick through for Dixon to chase down and score as Wakefield’s defence was caught napping.
The pace of the game slowed down for the next ten minutes but the direction remained the same. Tigers added a fourth to take control of the match just before the half-hour when Chase’s kick bounced in front of the Wakefield line and Huby touched down with the video referee giving it the green light.
Wakefield needed a big response to avoid letting the game get away from them before half-time and they got just that with two tries in three minutes.
New signing Taulima Tauti, making his debut from the bench, was influential as he bounced off a couple of Tigers tackles before off-loading for Dean Collis to touch down. Lee Smith added the extras.
From the next set Wildcats further narrowed the gap as skipper Danny Kirmond led by example by spotting a gap in the Tigers defence and bursting through to touch down. Smith again converted.
Given Castleford’s dominance, Wildcats would have taken that scoreline into half-time but it was not to be as Tigers responded with two tries of their own to take a healthy 20-point cushion into the interval.
Five minutes before the break Dixon produced a superb one-handed take from a kick to touch down right in the corner and four minutes later star man Carney got on the scoresheet to leave Tigers in full control at the break.
Wakefield needed a bright start to the second half and they almost got it when Lee Smith charged towards the Tigers line and chased his own teasing kick only for Dixon to beat him to it and avert from danger from behind his own line.
Eight minutes after the restart Wildcats got the try they wanted. Tim Smith’s high kick to the right found Dean Collis, who rose high to touch down and, with Lee Smith’s conversion, give Wakefield a glimmer of hope.
That hope faded just minutes later when Tigers grabbed their seventh try of the match. Ben Cockayne’s spilled ball allowed Castleford possession in a dangerous area and from that set Chase’s superb pass found Dixon for his hat-trick try.
A minute later Castleford all-but sealed their victory when Jordan Thompson crossed and Ellis added another conversion to fire their side 42-18 ahead.
The game was out of sight for Wakefield and Castleford rubbed salt into the wounds with ten minutes to go when Dixon took his personal try tally to four when he finished off a flowing passing move across the Wakefield line.
Wildcats scored a consolation try when Richard Mathers put Chris Annakin in for his first Super League with eight minutes of the match to go.
Castleford made sure they had the last say on a dominant victory, however, when the reliable Ellis kicked over a drop goal with two minutes to go.
Tigers: Tansey, Carney, Shenton, Thompson, Dixon, Chase, Ellis, Millington, Clark, Huby, Holmes, Hauraki, Massey. Subs: Walker, Milner, Fleming, Boyle.
Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Lyne, Cockayne, L Smith, T Smith, Poore, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Subs: Amor, Trout, Annakin, Tautai.
Referee: Robert Hicks.