The Wildcats put in a highly encouraging display as they saw off local rivals Castleford Tigers at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
A brace of tries from man of the match Danny Washbrook plus further scores for Paul Aiton, Ali Lauitiiti, Ben Cockayne, Vince Mellars, Richard Mathers and Motu Tony gave the home fans plenty to cheer on a cold, blustery day in West Yorkshire.
Only a couple of late Tigers tries took some of the gloss off the scoreline but in a pre-season friendly performance is first and foremost, and the home side put in a showing that gives plenty of hope for the new Stobart Super League campaign.
Richard Agar had a near full-strength squad to choose from with only Andy Raleigh and Oliver Wilkes unavailable due to injury whilst the Tigers also named a strong side but were without six first team members of their squad including Craig Huby.
The first use of the ball brought promising signs for the Wildcats as Isaac John cut through the Tigers line with ease before being hauled down fifteen metres short of the line by Richard Owen.
That was an early warning sign for the visitors and had the Wildcats been a bit sharper in their execution they could easily have led in the opening ten minutes with Dean Collis seemingly destined for the line but Steve Southern’s pass to him was caught in the wind and out of the centre’s grasp.
It seemed only a matter of time though before the home side took the lead on the opening showing and they duly did on 15 minutes. Another penalty from the whistle of Alibert gave Trinity the chance to strike and when Washbrook took the ball back towards the ruck from ten metres out the Tigers defence couldn’t repel him and he touched down by the side of the right upright.
The Tigers were being smothered by an energetic home side with indiscipline doing them no favours either. Ryan McGoldrick’s high shot on Peter Fox gave the repeat set and metres from the line Aiton burrowed over.
Agar’s men were dominating proceedings and when John, Collis and Fox combined, the winger was inches short of the line, in no small part due to a high shot from the covering Tigers defender.
It was a short lived reprieve for the visitors as Washbrook shrugged off some already tired looking Tigers defensive work to stroll in under the sticks, with John’s third successful conversion giving the Wildcats a thoroughly deserved 18-0 lead just after the half-hour mark.
The Wildcats had used attack as their best form of defence, dominating the battle for territory, so it was on a rare foray into the Wildcats red zone that brought the Tigers their opening try.
Rangi Chase hung a kick to the right hand corner which swirled in the wind, bounced off the chest of the leaping Cockayne and Brett Ferres was on hand to mop up the loose ball and give the Tigers fans hope of a fightback at the interval.
There was never much danger of the Tigers being as out of the contest in the second period as they were in the first and as Chase began to orchestrate things early on his play saw Stuart Jones with ball in hand and some nimble footwork got him over the line.
Wakefield proved they were still a threat with ball in hand minutes later as Fox was set striding away down the right and his inside pass to Collis saw the Aussie centre hauled down. The momentum of the attack wasn’t lost though and on-loan Mathers went over the whitewash.
It was a score soon backed up by another as Tim Smith’s kick was charged down for a repeat set, and the home side went from right to left to work the overlap for Cockayne to go in at the corner.
Lauitiiti benefitted from good work from Smith and a Washbrook offload to stroll in before John stabbed a short grubber kick to the left corner and Mellars had the desire to reach the ball first and add to the hosts lead further.
Tony got over the whitewash for the final home try of the game as the Wildcats threatened to run riot after Kyle Trout went through a gap and had the composure to put the replacement full-back in to score.
A couple of tries in the final ten minutes for Lee Mitchell and Steve Nash were mere consolations for the visitors as the Wildcats claimed the first bragging rights of 2012.
Referee: Mr T. Alibert
WILDCATS: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Mellars, Cockayne, John, Smith, Amor, Aiton, Southern, Kirmond, Lauitiiti, Washbrook. Replacements: Wood, Trout, Johnson, Slater, Walshaw, Ellis, Tony.
TIGERS: Owen, Shaw, Arundel, Griffin, Dixon, Chase, Orr, Emmitt, Hudson, Nash, Ferres, Holmes, McGoldrick. Replacements: Jones, Mitchell, Clark, Milner, Clare, Thompson, Davies.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.