NEW Zealander Rangi Chase was the star of the show as Castleford Tigers made a successful start to the new Super League season with Saturday’s 40-20 win over Wakefield Wildcats at Millenium Magic in Cardiff.
Last season’s Tigers player of the year Chase (pictured) was involved in most of Castleford’s best work.
The classy 24-year-old stand-off helped set up Castleford’s first three tries and also bagged a 30-metre interception try himself.
Teenagers Joe Arundel and Adam Milner were also among Castleford’s try scorers.
The Tigers dominated in most areas in a game littered with 37 penalties, with three players sent to the sin bin at various times.
Castleford coach Terry Matterson, who gave debuts to Richard Mathers, Nick Youngquest and Jake Emmitt, will have been encouraged by the performances of the team’s youngsters.
Castleford made a great start when Chase combined with past and present captains Ryan Hudson and Danny Orr to carve out a sixth-minute try for 19-year-old centre Arundel.
They ought to have been further ahead but Mathers spilled Orr’s pass with the Wildcats line breached and Wakefield drew level on 19 minutes when veteran French hooker Julien Rinaldi burrowed his way over from dummy half.
The game appeared to swing Wakefield’s way on 24 minutes when Arundel was sent to the sin bin for persistent infringing by the Tigers and the Wildcats immediately made the extra man count, with second rower Dale Ferguson taking Sam Obst’s pass to crash over for a second try.
Debutant Josh Vievers added the goal to make it 10-4 but Castleford seized control with three tries in the last 10 minutes of the first half.
The gap was cut to just two points when Chase offloaded from the tackle to get centre Brett Ferres over the line.
And the Tigers were still down to 12 men when they regained the lead, Chase’s long pass finding Youngquest unmarked for the male model to mark his debut with the simplest of tries.
Kirk Dixon was off target with all three conversion attempts but he eventually found the mark after substitute Dean Widders had forced his way over for a fourth try from close range in stoppage time.
By then Wakefield were down to 12 men after referee James Child lost his patience with the infringements of both teams and sent scrum half Obst to the sin bin, awarding a 20th penalty of the first half at the same time.
Any hope Wakefield had of getting back in the game disappeared within a minute of the re-start when Chase picked off a pass from Tommy Lee and raced away for an interception try.
Video referee Steve Ganson disallowed a try by Dixon for a knock-on but ruled in favour of Milner on 50 minutes after two defenders fell off him as he sped away to the line from dummy half.
Trailing 28-10, the Wildcats were staring at a rout but they showed tremendous spirit in a rally which brought a second try to Ferguson and a spectacular 80-metre effort by left winger Luke George.
When Wakefield found themselves down to 12 men for a second time, this time with Daryl Millard in the bin, prop Paul Jackson went over for a rare try, matching his tally for the whole of last season in the opening game.
And the Tigers finished in total control, with Widders adding a second try just before the end and Dixon taking his goal tally to four from eight attempts.