Castleford Hold Out Against Wakefield

Daryll Powell celebrated his 150th game in charge of the Tigers with a win over rivals Wakefield.

It was a high intensity start to the game, Trinity charging forward and the Tigers firing up off the defensive line to try and limit the metres made. The game having the makings of a straight forward slug fest due to the wet conditions and the soft slick ground underfoot. Wakefield were to make the first mistake, Scott Grix looking like he had broken the line but Ben Roberts putting in a good tackle to force the ball loose. From the resulting set of six, Luke Gale would put a smart grubber into the in-goal area forcing Scott Grix to run it dead and give the Tigers a repeat set.

Castleford would force yet another goal line drop out, McShane this time grubbering through, Grix initially escaping before being forced back into his in-goal for Castleford's second repeat set in a row as the Tigers were getting their claws into the game, Wakefield holding their own and earning a penalty on their line for a high shot to relieve the pressure. Shenton would give away a silly penalty for a second go and put Wakefield on the Tigers 30 to launch their threatening attack of the night, McShane would then get Trinity to 10 metre line after leaving his hands in and forcing the ball loose.

Wakefield would have a decision handed up stairs, the decision going up as no try due to a suspected knock on, the eagle eyed James Child calling it right on the field and the video ref confirming Child's suspicion and the try chalked off. Wakefield would do themselves no favours on their own line, giving Castleford a fresh set of six for a ball steal on the 4th tackle, Trinity would be punished on the 3rd tackle as Mike McMeeken hit a flat ball at high speed to slide over for the opening points on the 16th minute, Gale adding the extras from the right off the sticks to make it 6-0.

Castleford's defence were looking very good, a sliding line move snubbed out and Ben Jones-Bishop forced over the sideline by a resilient Tigers line. Once more the Tigers forced another repeat set, Gale going at the line and stabbing the ball through, Grix with no option but to hack it dead for the third time in 20 minutes. Castleford's attack on the 4th tackle would give the video referee his second decision of the night, Clare's heel hitting the whitewash before grounding the ball after Jones-Bishop came up with a great tackle to prevent the try, wrapping Clare up and using his upper body strength to drive him towards touch.

Conditions were not letting up but that wasn't stopping either side from throwing the ball around, the error count remaining surprisingly low as the ball got greasier with every play the ball. Castleford would take a gamble and run the ball on the last tackle at the Wakefield line, the gamble paying off as they would get another set of six from the touch of a Wakefield man, Trinity once more refusing to buckle to the pressure of the Tigers attack. Wakefield would get their first goal line drop out of the game, Wood's bobbling grubber defused by fullback Jake Trueman, Trinity getting another repeat set from a near identical kick, Fifita stretching out to put the ball down but McMeeken stripping the ball and for some reason the decision going against Wakefield and deemed a knock on.

Luke Gale decided to take the 1 point on offer with 4 minutes on the clock for the half, just how important that drop goal could be would be decided 43 minutes from now. The scoreline going into the half at 7-0 to the Tigers but the score not really doing the Tigers control of the match so far justice.

Castleford would make the first error of the second half, Springer forcing the offload and Clare would spill the difficult pass. Wakefield would go close through Kyle Wood, Accelerating through the gap from the play the ball, held up just an inch from the line and Castleford would survive Wakefield's closest chance at the line yet.

Keegan Hirst would go over but held up by a reluctant Castleford defence, on the next tackle Pauli Pauli would get his arm free, somehow getting the ball between Lynne and Jones-Bishop and the ball going out over the sideline and a certain try going begging for a scoreless Trinity. 

The handling errors were starting to mount up as the rain poured down, both sides unable to keep the ball after it's time on the greasy surface. Wakefield would come up with a master stroke, Finn kicking early from deep to catch the Castleford wingers napping, Ben Jones-Bishop racing after the ball to ground it in the in-goal area in one of the tries of the season so far, Finn kicking the goal from the right side to send the score to 7-6 with 20 minutes to play. 

Scott Grix would be put under the high ball, spilling it and Tom Johnstone would dive on the ball, deemed to be offside he would give Castleford a shot at the sticks to go three points ahead, Gale adding the extras taking Castleford to a 9-6 lead with 13 minutes to play.

Wakefield were starting to resort to desperation, passes that simply weren't on, poor decision making and men in touch were all pointing towards a side that were losing hope. Pauli Pauli giving away a penalty for contact with the head and giving the Tigers a chance to kill the game off, then a second penalty, this one for offside would give Castleford a shot at 2 points to take the game further out of Wakefield's reach, Gale converting with 6 minutes left to play would put the Tigers out to a 11-6 lead. 

Wakefield would get a glimmer of hope from the kick off, Castleford knocking on a low kick to the corner, Johnstone would go over in the corner with the decision going upstairs, Johnstone losing the ball backwards and the video referee giving no try and a goal line drop out to  give Wakefield another go at the Castleford line with 4 minutes to play, the attack coming to nothing for Trinity.

Wakefield would throw everything they could, big man after big man, offload after offload but to no avail, Castleford seeing the game out for a 11-6 win.



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