Luke Gale’s boot proved vital once again for the Castleford Tigers as they downed local rivals Wakefield Trinity 11-6 in dismal conditions at the Mobile Rocket Stadium.
The infamous April showers came a few days early as Gale’s personal tally of seven points scraped the win for his side, the weather nullifying the attacking threats of both sides.
Castleford applied the pressure early on, forcing three drop-outs and penning Trinity into their own half for the majority of the half. Eventually, the pressure would prove too much, as Ben Roberts slipped Mike McMeeken through a huge gap.
With last week’s one-point victory over Leeds fresh in his mind, Gale struck over his 15th drop goal for the Tigers, giving his side a 7-0 lead going into the sheds.
However, Wakefield made for stronger showing in the second half, going on to show the best-attacking rugby of the night.
An early kick from Liam Finn on his own forty-metre line caught out the Castleford defence, allowing Ben Jones-Bishop to burst through and touchdown. Finn, not to be outdone by his opposite number, converted from touch to make it a one-point game.
As the game grew so did tensions between the sides. However, Wakefield’s discipline proved to be their downfall, two penalties allowing Gale to push his side further ahead and ultimately win the game.
The hectic Easter schedule not kicking off with the fireworks many anticipated between these two sides, however, Castleford made it five wins in a row to overtake Trinity in 3rd position, the final score 11-6.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Castleford still need to replace Hardaker
Whilst tonight’s conditions didn’t allow the Tigers to play their attacking rugby, it saw a re-shuffle in their spine. Ben Roberts moved back into the halves, and youngster Jake Trueman got the nod in the full-back spot.
The youngster gave his best effort and could still prove to make a capable replacement, yet it is clear the Tigers miss the penetration that Hardaker brought to their scintillating attack last season- one that often saw them blow teams out of the water.
The best is yet to come, for the Whole of Super League
On paper, this billed to be one of the more entertaining matches of the season, two thrilling attacking sides, more than 40+ points scored in the previous meetings between the two sides, and exciting players on either side.
Yet, once again, the conditions got involved. When it doesn’t snow the heavens open in a different way!
The sudden downpour saw this game quickly become a mud bath limiting any creativity in either side’s play.
As we move further towards England’s supposed ‘summer’, surely the quality of matches can only improve.
Whilst we’ve seen some great skill already, expect it to ramp up when the weather eventually dries up.
Man Of The Match- Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers)
Whilst Kyle Wood grabbed the OurLeague man of the match, there was only one man who made the difference in this game. For a second week running, Luke Gale has kicked his side to a victory.
A personal tally of seven points, including yet another drop goal, earned his side a much sought-after win here.
His influence on the Castleford side is never to be forgotten, possessing the ability to run the game. Tonight showed Gale’s game management once again, taking the chances when on offer.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
Wakefield Trinity Head Coach/Manager Chris Chester
“I’m proud of the boy’s effort in the second-half. It wasn’t a great spectacle but we dug deep and in the end, there was much between the two sides, we just came up short.”
Castleford Tigers Head Coach/Manager Daryl Powell
“It was tough, summer rugby is awesome, isn’t it? We had to tough it out tonight and take our chances when we could which Gale did well. It’s a big win for us.”
Wakefield Trinity- 6
Tries: Jones-Bishop (58)
Goals: Finn 1/1
Drop Goals: list scorers or n/a
Castleford Tigers- 11
Tries: McMeeken (16)
Goals: Gale 3/3
Drop Goals: Gale x1
Wakefield Trinity: Arona, Arundel, Ashurst, Caton-Brown, England, Finn, Scott, Hampshire, Hirst, Horo, Huby, Johnstone, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Miller, Pauli, Randell, Tupou, Wood.
Castleford Tigers: Clare, Cook, Ellis, Foster, Gale, Green, Holmes, Massey, McMeeken, McShane, Millington, Milner, Minikin, Moors, Roberts, Shenton, Springer, Trueman, Webster.
Referee: James Child
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