Castleford held on to seal a seventh Super League win of the season despite a thrilling Wakefield comeback.
James Clare opened the scores for the hosts as Mason Caton-Brown failed to collect Jake Trueman’s punt before Jesse Sene-Lefao scored their second try on the quarter-hour mark.
Mike McMeekan and half back Cory Ashton, on his debut, also crossed to give Cas’ a comfortable lead – 24-year-old Ashton spent a year with Leeds without making his senior debut and, after joining the Tigers in December 2017, had to wait 16 months for his opportunity.
But Caton-Brown scored his first try of the match shortly after, giving Trinity a route back into the match moments after Greg Eden and Castleford had four points ruled out via the Third Match Official.
Greg Minikin and Caton-Brown exchanged tries before the Wakefield fightback truly began.
Joe Arundel, Ben Reynolds and Tinirau Arona all ran over to set up a tense finale – the last being gifted to the visitors when Eden spilled Reynolds’ high cross-field kick.
The result keeps Castleford and Wakefield in third and fourth place in the Super League table respectively, but Cas claw down second-placed Warrington’s four-point gap to just two with the win.
Castleford got lucky
Going four scores up and ending up clinging on to the win tells its own story. Cas got complacent and nearly paid the price. Against more clinical opposition, they would have done.
Wakefield have heart
How many teams in Super League would be able to stage such a comeback against a side like Castelford? Not many, that’s for sure, but Trinity keep demonstrating their unwavering unity and very nearly pulled off the comeback of the season.
Cas will be looking up the table
Sitting just two points off Warrington Wolves in third place in Super League, Castleford will be confident of over-taking their rivals in their quest for success in 2019. It’s much easier said than done, though.
Trinity need to defend better
Wakefield gifted Castleford the win in truth. They didn’t turn up for the first half an hour, which is unacceptable at this level. If they don’t tighten up their defence, a season of promise could soon turn to one of disappointment.
Castleford Tigers 28
Tries: Clare, Sene-Lefao, McMeekan, Ashton, Minikin.
Goals: Mata-utia (4)
Drop Goals: n/a
Wakefield Trinity 26
Tries: Caton-Brown (2), Arundel, Reynolds, Aruna.
Goals: Hampshire (3)
Drop Goals: n/a
Castleford: Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Watts, Holmes, McMeeken, Milner, Massey, Sene-Lefao, Aston.
Interchanges: Moors, Clark, O’Neill, Smith.
Wakefield: Hampshire, Lyne, Jones-Bishop, Fifita, Wood, Ashurst, Kirmond, Arona, Arundel, Jowitt, Crowther, Caton-Brown, Reynolds.
Interchanges: Kopczak, Hirst, King, Pauli.
Referee: Chris Kendall