Castleford produced a masterclass second half comeback from 16-0 down to beat their rivals Wakefield 25-24 with a late drop goal at the Beaumont Legal Stadium. The Tigers produced a seventh successive Super League win over Wakefield to go 10 points clear at the top of Super League.
McShane the MVP?
Paul McShane was awarded Man Of The Match by the Sky Sports team and in the post-game analysis Zak Hardaker highlighted him as one of the main leaders in the side. On first glance, McShane doesn’t necessarily spring to mind when thinking of stand out players in the Tigers side, but his performance in what was a mixed bag for Castleford showed his class and influence in the side.
He set up Castleford’s first with a top class cut out ball to Greg Eden and their second with a perfect decision, and ball to match, to put Millington over just right of the sticks. In essence, he was the catalyst of two tries that were pivotal in turning the game in Castleford’s favour, off the back of which Castleford seemed to have the more momentum in the game.
On top of this, McShane put Nathan Massey through with another great piece of vision and skill later on, as well as directing his side around the park all game long. His performance really showcased his value in the Castleford side, and while he is not necessarily one of the stars of the Tigers’ side, he is definitely one of the most important.
Fifita and Huby key for Wakefield
Much of Wakefield’s dominance in the first half came down to their forward pack putting them on the front foot and there was no-one more pivotal in that than Craig Huby and David Fifita. Huby got his team rolling forward with direct carries and when Fifita came on he continued in the same vein.
Huby arguably looked to be the most dangerous prop on the field for large parts of the game and Fifita had a hand in two tries; drawing players to allow Wood to barge over in the first half and scoring one from short range himself to seemingly clinch the win for Trinity. While the two were very strong in attack, they were also pivotal in defence. For a number of sets they showed that they could dominate the Tigers’ middles in defence and kept them at bay for the whole of the first half.
However, lapses in concentration let them down with Castleford coming back through the middle countless times in the second half that ultimately lost them the game. Without the two though, they wouldn’t have had such a commanding lead in the first place.
Castleford are one of the most dominant teams in the Super League Era
Of the past seven Super League competitions, the league leaders shield has been won by 1 competition point six times – with the only side winning by more being Wigan in 2010 (4 points). Castleford look set to take the shield emphatically, with this win putting them 10 points ahead before Salford play Leeds on Sunday.
Assuming the Tigers play to form, they’ll go down in history as one of the most dominant teams in the Super League Era. The biggest test for them now is to take this dominance into the play-offs and secure their first ever Super League title.
Wakefield Trinity (16) 24
Tries: Jones-Bishop, Wood, Fifita
Conversions: Finn (3)
Penalties: Finn (3)
Castleford Tigers (0) 25
Tries: Eden, Millington, McMeeken, Webster.
Conversions: Gale (4)
Drop Goals: Gale