Tigers Claim #BraggingRights
Posted: Thursday 18th April 2019 - 9:58 PM
In a gripping West Yorkshire derby, Castleford Tigers held off the late challenge of Wakefield Trinity to record a 28-26 victory on Easter Thursday, retaining the Adam Watene Trophy.
A first-half blitz from the Tigers looked to have wrapped the points up early for Castleford, but the visitors hit their straps in the second 40 and pushed the Tigers all the way.
The black and amber instantly put themselves on the back foot in the contest, booting the opening kick-off out on the full. However, the hosts quickly re-grouped, providing Wakefield little scope with which to attack their line.
The opening ten minutes of the contest were physically gruelling, as both sides attempted to batter the other up the middle. The league’s two in-form props, David Fifita and Liam Watts, took centre stage here, trading punishing runs by the set.
It was only a matter of time before the Tigers tested their opponents out wide though. It was a lofted kick that heralded the first points of the game; Mason Caton-Brown failed to deal with it and James Clare couldn’t have been more grateful, as he pounced on the ball and raced away to score.
This initial try seemed to stun Trinity, and Castleford showed no mercy as they began to smell blood in the water. A few moments later, following an exceptional defensive set from the Tigers, Jesse Sene-Lefao barged his way over to double the lead. The big Samoan suffered for his efforts though, picking up a shoulder injury as he planted the ball down.
With their tails firmly up now, the Tigers were relentless. Before long, Clare had his second of the evening after a fantastic offload from Mike McMeeken. Then, around 25 minutes into the contest, Castleford went 22 points up.
With Watts pulling the strings in typical fashion, Daniel Smith was sent through a gap before finding Cory Aston in support. The half-back proceeded to finish under the posts for a memorable debut try.
Wakefield showed some fight towards the back end of the half, and finally found their way onto the scoreboard via Caton-Brown with a few minutes to spare. However, it was the Tigers who ended the half on top. In the final moments, Castleford earned two penalties within Trinity’s half, but Pete Mata’utia pushed them both wide - the latter as time expired.
After the break, the Tigers were bang on it, leaving Wakefield struggling to cope with the pressure. After seven minutes, Castleford extended their lead, with Greg Minikin wrestling his way over from short range.
The visitors weren’t ready to roll over just yet though, this was a derby after all. Following Minikin’s try, Wakefield began to put something together, picking up yardage they had struggled to find up to that point. Before long, Caton-Brown had his brace, leaping over Clare to grab a Ryan Hampshire kick.
Wakefield’s task was always going to be difficult though, especially with the mood the Tigers had been in for most of the evening.
With just over twenty minutes to play, Mata’utia booted the Tigers 20 points ahead, giving the hosts a clear four-score lead. However, Trinity replied instantly via Joe Arundel, with Hampshire converting.
A game that had seemed sorted at the break now had an edge to it, and even more so when Ben Reynolds – a former Tigers academy product – crossed with twelve minutes still on the clock.
Then, it was Tinirau Arona’s turn to try and spoil the party, as he reacted quickest to a loose ball and touched down in the corner. Hampshire nailed the conversion, bring the visitors within just two.
The atmosphere within the ground reacted accordingly, hitting a fever pitch as we hit the final few moments, with the game hanging on a knife edge.
Trinity had their chances to steal the result, but ultimately Castleford’s resolve stood firm as they held on to claim the Adam Watene Trophy and the all-important two Super League points.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 28-26 Wakefield Trinity
Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Aston, Watts, Milner, Sene-Lefao, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey
Moors, Clark, O’Neill, Smith
Tries: Clare (2), Sene-Lefao, Aston, Minikin
Conversion: Mata’utia (3/5)
Penalties: Mata’utia (1/3)
Jowitt, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Arundel, Caton-Brown, Reynolds, Hampshire, Fifita, Wood, Arona, Ashurst, Kirmond, Crowther
Pauli, Kopczak, King, Hirst
Tries: Caton-Brown (2), Arundel, Reynolds, Arona
Conversions: Hampshire (3/5)
Sponsors’ Man of the Match: Liam Watts
Golden Gamble: 03413
*Match report by Ross Williams
**Photography by Melanie Allatt
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