Castleford Tigers grind out win to continue derby run

Castleford celebrate Adam Milner's try against Wakefield Trinity. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Castleford celebrate Adam Milner's try against Wakefield Trinity. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Conditions probably ensured it was never going to a free flowing game, but Castleford Tigers were able to find a way to extend their run of wins in derby games with a 24-4 success against Wakefield Trinity at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

Having already beaten Trinity and Leeds Rhinos in the away games this season and beating both in all their league meetings in 2017 Daryl Powell’s men enjoyed more success without ever really getting their attacking game going.

But they scored three tries to one and kept their neighbours scoreless in the second half in a much improved defensive display from the one at Wigan a week earlier.

Castleford controlled most of the first half, but too many penalties prevented the game from flowing and there was only one try each in admittedly difficult conditions once again.

An early attack from Trinity came to nothing when they ran a sixth tackle play and Ben Jones-Bishop was bundled into touch within five metres of the line by Joe Wardle and Michael Shenton.

Cas then nudged in front when from their first penalty for a high tackle on Adam Milner they went for goal with Luke Gale slotting the ball between the posts.

A Paul McShane grubber forced the first goal-line drop-out and from the next set another penalty was forthcoming with Gale again kicking it.

Two more drop-outs were forced by Jamie Ellis and Paul McShane as the Tigers turned the screw and it resulted in two more points with Gale kicking his third goal.

A try finally came on 26 minutes when winger Greg Minikin collected Ellis’s clever long pass and dived over in the corner.

With Gale briefly off the field getting some treatment, Ellis took over kicking duties, but was unable to land the touchline conversion.

Wakefield hit back when off the back of two penalties and a further set for a knock-on by Cas they put their first points on the board. Tyler Randell sent a clever dummy near the line and dived over for a try that went unconverted with Ryan Hampshire’s kick hitting the post.

Randell’s 40-20 kick then came to nothing for the visitors when they only had one further play before half-time and could not make anything of it.

Cas started the second half without Luke Gale and then lost Jake Webster to a head injury so had McShane in the halves and Mike McMeeken out at centre for a spell.

McMeeken came close to scoring when bundled in touch in goal going for the line off a rare decent move, but Trinity then put their best move of the game together and appeared to be unlucky not to score.

Max Jowitt swapped passes with Tom Johnstone down the left flank and touched the ball down over the line only for the video referee to rule no try for obstruction earlier in the build-up.

A great set off the resulting penalty saw Cas take control back and after Ellis’s kick earned a drop-out it was their turn to be unlucky.

Minikin appeared to get the ball down acrobatically in the corner and referee Robert Hicks signalled a try only for it to be overturned by the video referee.

The next attacking set for the Tigers resulted in a penalty that was surprisingly missed from Ellis just to the right of the posts, but the miss did not turn out to be important.

Soon after the hosts had their second try with Adam Milner burrowing over from close range and Ellis’s conversion made it 16-4.

More pressure followed as Junior Moors was held up over the line and McShane forced two more drop-outs with grubber kicks.

Eventually the Trinity defence cracked again and Ellis landed a penalty goal to give the Tigers breathing space.

McMeeken came close to another score before McShane put the icing on the cake after seizing onto a dropped pass by Wakefield on half-way, showing winger’s pace as he raced down the flank for the try. Ellis’s touchline conversion rounded up the scoring.

Scorers - Castleford: Tries Minikin, Milner, McShane; goals Gale 3, Ellis 3. Wakefield: Try Randell..

Castleford Tigers: Trueman; Minikin, Webster, Wardle, Shenton; Ellis, Gale; Watts, McShane, Sene-Lefao, Holmes, McMeeken, Milner. Subs: Moors, Millington, Cook, Springer.

Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt; Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone; Miller, Hampshire; England, Wood, Hirst, Ashurst, Pauli, Annakin. Subs: Randell, Arona, Huby, Batchelor.

Referee: Robert Hicks.

Half-time: 10-4.

Attendance: 7,485.