Wakefield Wildcats Under 20’s have moved into the second week of the play-offs with ease after comfortably beating local rivals Castleford 48-28 at a sun soaked Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
Coach Glenn Morrison was helped by the inclusion of first teamers Isaac John and Matt James as the hosts got off to a blistering start. The first try was arguably the score of the game as the Tigers charged down a kick, only for the ball to fall to full-back Jordan Grayston who chipped over the top before collecting the ball himself and passing inside to Danny Ansell to open to scoring.
Prop Adam Gledhill soon extended the lead with Grayston converting both tries before Castleford’s hooker Jack Lee burrowed his way over to score with Ben Reynolds converting, meaning the visitors were back in the game at 12-6.
The response from Morrison’s men was a more than positive one as winger Sam Parkin went over after good work by Ryan Wright and John before the half-back assisted Andy Tate to extend the lead to 16 points.
First team prop James started the game at loose-forward and he used his strength and power to storm over from 20 metres, brushing the defenders away with little problem with fellow forward Adam Slater rounding off the scoring for the first half at 30-6.
The first 40 minutes in truth appeared to be men against boys and that didn’t change for the beginning of the second period as it took Trinity under 30 seconds to extend the lead. Sam Fletcher broke down the left from kick off before being hauled down just short of the line but that didn’t stop his centre partner Josh Hardcastle who scored down the short side.
The game the turned into a slightly scrappy affair as the visitors started to grow into the match and a lapse of concentration let Lee in for his second of the match with Charlie Martin also scoring minutes later to give the Tigers the slightest of hopes at 36-18.
Those fears were extinguished when Under 18’s Players’ Player and Coaches’ Player of the Year Ben Shulver scored to put the game to bed. Sean Pick was sin-binned for the visitors for slapping Grayston in the face with Josh Atkinson scoring a consolation try before neat footwork by Gledhill led to his second score of the game.
Tigers forward Jack Smith was sent off in the closing seconds for swearing at the referee to emphasise the frustration of the visitors who were comprehensively dumped out of the play-offs by the Wildcats as the hosts were victorious 42-22.
Wildcats: Grayston, Parkin, Kay, Hardcastle, Fletcher, John, Ansell, Gledhill, Wright, Lillycrop, Slater, Tate, James. Subs: Murphy, Shulver, Joynt, Anderson.
Tigers: Fleming, Lepori, Holmes, Atkinson, Clare, Reynolds, Carroll, Leary, Lee, Smith, Pick, Orange, Siddons. Subs: Thompson, Lloyd, Martin, Richards.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.