The Wakefield Trinity Wildcats lost out to local rivals Castleford Tigers in the dying minutes of the game this afternoon at a bustling Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
The first half couldn’t have begun better for the Wildcats with a touchdown after just two minutes. Jeremy Smith made a speedy break and after a smart inside pass to Glenn Morrison, the club captain dived over the line to put the home side instantly in front. With a successful conversion from winger Dale Morton the scores stood at 6-0.
Just two minutes later, the Wildcats continued their impressive form with prop forward Paul Johnson powering over the line. Dale Morton added the extras and Wakefield were soon 12 points ahead with their arch rivals still to get on the scoreboard.
A touch down from Castleford nearly closed the gap for the visitors but after handing the decision to the video referee the try was soon disallowed for being in touch. Wakefield continued to defend tenaciously and held the Tigers out on a number of occasions. However, the away side eventually managed to cross the line with their first try from Richard Mathers after 18 minutes. Danny Orr converted the kick leaving the scores at 12-6 to The Wildcats.
Castleford continued their attacking play and two quick tries, both from Willie Isa, put the visitors ahead for the first time in the game with the score board standing at 16-12 in black and amber’s favour.
The Wildcats responded well and after a great set defensive play, a Castleford error allowed the Wakefield side to get up the field and hooker Matthew Wildie crossed the white wash under the sticks. Morton continued his 100% kicking record and slotted the ball between the posts putting the home side back in the lead by 18 points to 16.
Castleford fought back with a try from Davies but just moments later Semi Tadulala broke down the wing and put the Wildcats in front at half time with the scores standing at 24-22.
The Wildcats came out fighting in the second half and after a home side penalty Wakefield nearly extended their lead but failed to capitalise on the line. A high tackle from Semi Tadulala gave Castleford their first penalty of the second half and the possession lead to a Youngquest try putting the visitors in front at 24 points to 28.
Two disallowed Castleford tries in five minutes kept the scores just four points apart and left The Wildcats fighting to overtake their rivals. A string of dangerous tackles resulted in the away team being reduced to just 12 men with Nick Youngquest being sent to the sin bin. Wakefield utilised the shortage of players to their advantage and sent Chris Dean charging through a gap in the defence and over the line. A missed conversion left the scores at a nerve wracking 28-28.
A disallowed Amor try just moments later lead to a penalty attack for The Wildcats and the side smartly decided to take the two points. Placed just in front of the sticks, Morton successfully converted the all important kick and took the Wildcats in front at 30 points to 28 with just seven minutes to go.
A tense final few minutes were to follow with a number of errors and a disallowed try from Castleford preventing the visitors from taking the lead. With just two minutes remaining, Dean Widders crossed the line for The Tigers scoring a controversial try with the majority of Wakefield supporters determined the player was in touch, stealing the victory from The Wildcats in the last painful moments. The full time whistle blew at 30 points to 34.
Both teams showed valiant effort, skill and determination and once again the game epitomised the meaning and history of local derbies with a nail biting, tense finish! The Wildcats fought until the end and thoroughly deserved to be leaving with the two points.
Super League will have a rest next weekend due to the Challenge Cup Final but fixtures will resume as normal the week after. The Wildcats take on other close rivals Leeds Rhinos on Friday 2nd September at Headingley Stadium. To purchase your tickets please phone 01924 211611 or call into the Wildcats Superstore.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.