TIGERS 26-22 WILDCATS

posted on 7 September 2014


A valiant second half fightback ultimately came up short for the brave Wildcats.

Castleford dominated the opening 35 minutes and a brace for James Clare plus scores for Luke Dorn and Kirk Dixon had the Tigers cruising at 22-0.

Tries in the final five minutes of the first half from Lee Gilmour and Chris Riley gave Trinity a fighting chance in the second period and fight they certainly did.

Wakefield dominated the half and crossed through Richard Owen and a first ever career try for Scott Anderson. However, Jake Webster capitalised on a mix-up between Gilmour and Riley to score what proved to be the decisive try and despite a late opportunity to level things up, the Tigers held on to maintain their pursuit of top spot with a win for Widnes Vikings earlier in the day ending any faint play-off hopes for the Wildcats.

James Webster had Danny Kirmond, Matt Ryan, Dean Collis, Jarrod Sammut and Nick Scruton alongside him in the stands as he named Gilmour at centre and recalled Chris Annakin to the replacements bench. Daniel Smith started at loose-forward with Danny Washbrook featuring in the second-row alongside Jon Molloy.

After a solid enough start, the Wildcats handed Castleford their first opportunities to score and the Tigers didn’t need asking twice. Tim Smith was put under pressure on the kick 40 metres from his own line and ambitiously attempted a short grubber that was swallowed up by the hosts. That gave the Tigers the platform from which Dorn ghosted through the defensive line from ten metres out.

If that try was preventable then the second was hugely disappointing as Castleford took less than 30 seconds to go from a tap on their own 20 metre line to Clare touching down. The Wildcats were caught off guard at the restart by Dorn and when Clark put Clare away, he stepped inside Owen to score.

Castleford looked to turn the screw and they did just that. Clare was in for his second on the back of a repeat set 20 metres from the Trinity line, showing enough strength to see off the attentions of Tim Smith to get the ball down in the corner.

On 32 minutes it was the right winger celebrating as Dixon touched down from a long pass from Clark after Jake Webster had been hauled down by Pita Godinet.

Wakefield were well out of the game at 22-0 down but mounted a late first half resurgence, starting when two quick passes close to the line gave Gilmour the time and space to get over.

With 90 seconds to go until the interval the travelling fans were celebrating once more. Offloads from Ali Lauitiiti and Taulima Tautai put the Wildcats on the front foot giving Tim Smith the time to measure a kick to the corner which Dixon dropped under pressure from Riley, the on loan winger pouncing to score. Sykes missed his second conversion and the Wildcats trailed 22-10 at half-time.

The Wildcats dominated the second half as the game became a lot more physical following an Annakin tackle on Gaz Carvell that ultimately meant the veteran prop was unable to continue. Lyne putting his foot in touch with the line begging was as close as the Wildcats came despite their dominance.

Castleford then hit the visitors with a sucker punch when Webster picked up on a loose ball after Gilmour collided with Riley in attempting to field a Sneyd kick allowing the Kiwi centre to score with 15 minutes remaining.

The try didn’t dampen the Wildcats spirit and they continued to fight until the end. Firstly Anderson got to a short grubber from Matty Wildie for his first ever try and when Owen showed good strength to finish in the corner and Sykes converted, there was just four points in the game.

Wakefield had their chances to level things up before the end, the best coming when after the ball was offloaded at will, Trinity had a huge overlap on the left edge 15 metres from the Tigers line. But the Wildcats didn’t capitalise and with it went their best chance to get something from the game.

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