CASTLEFORD Tigers coach Terry Matterson criticised his side for their astonishing collapse in Friday’s 28-24 Super League League derby defeat against Wakefield Wildcats.
The Tigers looked set to regain top spot when skipper Danny Orr (pictured) scored three minutes into the second-half to give them a 24-4 lead but they then threw the game away by conceding four tries in a 17 minute spell.
Matterson said: “The reason we lost was because we weren’t prepared to work for 80 minutes.
“I think we just clocked off. We thought the game was won and were looking to Monday but we were making stupid mistakes - it reeks of complacency.
“We were certainly ready to play at the start of the game - something’s happened, the other team got through and we kept making mistakes.
“We’ve got to continue to work hard and it’s a real reality check.
“The expectation, maybe not outside the group, but inside the group, has got a little bit out of hand.
“They think we’re a bit better than they are and if they’re not in check after the last two games, they will be.”
There was some dispute over Mariano’s winning try, but Matterson added: “I’m not going to blame the referee.
“It was fairly and squarely our fault. We need to win that game.”
Richard Mathers, Martin Aspinwall, Jordan Thompson were Castleford’s other try scorers and Kirk Dixon kicked four conversions.
Wakefield coach John Kear paid a glowing tribute to his players after they overturned a 20-point deficit.
Wakefield’s Kieran Hyde, Josh Griffin, Paul Johnson and Frankie Mariano all scored converted tries to add to Chris Dean’s first-half effort.
Wakefield’s off-field concerns have been well-documented and Kear, who refused to single out any individual for special praise, hailed his team’s determination.
He said: “It was a special night for the players and I think it’s a tribute to the character of them because they faced all sorts of adversity in the off-season and they kept their head down and kept working.
“It was a group fightback basically and they all contributed. There’s all little positives at the side of each players’ names tonight.
“They’ve got what they deserved tonight and I’m really proud of them.
“At half-time, we felt we were really in the game and it was a little lopsided at 18-4 because Cas scored at the death of the half and then obviously when they came out and scored straight away afterwards, it made it doubly tough.
“But the resolve, the character, the determination, call it what you want of this group, it’s very special and you’ve got to applaud them.”
Kear is aware he now has to motivate his players for Monday’s clash with Wigan and believes the Warriors will be buoyed by their win over St Helens earlier today.
He said: “It’s a very short turnaround for Monday and we’ve got to start addressing the problems Wigan Warriors are going to pose to us.”
Kear dedicated the victory to former Castleford and Wakefield prop Adam Watene, who died of a suspected heart attack in 2008.
As well as fighting for the two points, the clubs were also competing for the trophy named in his honour.
Kear added: “It strikes a chord with the players and the staff who were there when Adam sadly passed away and you’ve got to dedicate a spirited victory like that to Adam.”