Wakefield Trinity 12 Castleford Tigers 18 - visitors maintain derby dominance despite late scare
Castleford Tigers broke their losing run in Betfred Super League and inflicted more derby misery on neighbours Wakefield Trinity with an 18-12 away success on Wednesday night.
Wakefield were on a three-game winning run at home while Tigers had lost their last four league matches, but the visitors were deserved victors.
They scored four tries to two, but three missed conversions from Danny Richardson kept Trinity in the contest and a late touchdown set up a tense finish.
It was a scrappy, frantic game, marred by too many errors from both sides, as well as a couple of injury scares.
Trinity centre Bill Tupou suffered damage to a patella and was taken off the field on a stretcher, after a long stoppage, with just 13 seconds left in the first half.
Gareth O’Brien, playing stand-off for Castleford, had hurt one if is knees two minutes earlier and needed crutches to reach the changing rooms at half-time.
Castleford - who have now won 15 successive games against Trinity - wasted some field position in the opening quarter, but when they finally managed to complete a couple of sets in Wakefield territory, it paid off with the opening try, after 22 minutes.
Richardson’s kick forced a drop out and on the last tackle from that, Paul McShane - who was in the Wakefield side the last time they beat Castleford, six years ago - grubbered over the line and George Griffin ran through to touch down.
Richardson added the extras, but the lead lasted only five minutes.
Again the try came in a drop out set, Michael Shenton having forced Jacob Miller’s kick into touch in goal following a break out led by Reece Lyne.
Miller put on some neat footwork in front of Cas’ line and stretched over for a well-taken try which Mason Lino improved.
Wakefield began to make errors after that and spent the rest of the half in their own territory.
The try which gave Castleford a four-point interval lead was a terrific effort, though Wakefield’s defence could have done better.
Peter Mata’utia made a run from the right flank and then slung out a clever long pass to Jordan Turner on Tigers’ left wing.
He still had a lot to do, but evaded Lee Kershaw, got over the top of Max Jowitt and then managed to get the ball down after through attempts by Reece Lyne and Lino to hold him up.
Joe Arundel, who replaced Tupou, made a superb tackle to drag Derrell Olpherts into touch just short of the line when he looked set to score eight minutes after the break, but Tigers extended their advantage moments later with an untidy score off an error by Jowitt.
He seemed to have Richardson’s kick covered, but the ball squirmed out of his grasp, he pushed it back in-goal and Shenton had an easy touchdown.
Tigers scored again on the hour, through Mata’utia who capped a strong game by ducking over from close-range from a pass by Turner, who moved into the halves when O’Brien went off.
Trinity halved the deficit to six points with 11 minutes left when Miller ran on to a kick by Lino who also converted, but they couldn’t make some late pressure pay and Tigers held on.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Kershaw, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone, Miller, Lino, Arona, B Walker, Tanginoa, Pitts, Ashurst, Westerman. Subs Fifita, K Wood, Battye, Arundel.
Castleford Tigers: Evalds, Olpherts, Shenton, Mata’utia, Turner, O’Brien, Richardson, Griffin, McShane, Matagi, Holmes, Sene-Lefao, Massey. Subs Watts, Foster, Smith, Qareqare.
Referee: Liam Moore (Wigan).