Richard Agar hailed a “great victory” for Wakefield as Tim Smith‘s dazzling late try sealed a 32-26 win over Castleford.
In glorious conditions at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, the west Yorkshire rivals served up an entertaining first game of the Magic Weekend, only decided by Smith’s late show.
Agar said: “Great victory. We survived one or two scary moments but it’s a big win in difficult conditions.
“The score blew out in the first half and fatigue was a big element. But we gave the supporters their money’s worth.
“We saw within our side that the lads were certainly tiring, and we had to manage our interchanges.”
Castleford led with an early Jordan Thompson try, but a quick fire double from Vince Mellars and Richie Mathers, both converted by Paul Sykes, put Wakefield 12-6 in front, and they were never to relinquish their lead.
Peter Fox pounced on a mistake by Castleford winger Nick Youngquest to restore Wakefield’s eight point advantage, but they were forced to stand strong for the final quarter of the match after Danny Orr scuttled over to bring the Tigers back within two.
Castleford were denied by the video referee and continued to push for the decisive score, until Smith had the final say, skipping through the line and finishing smartly in the corner to send the Wildcats fans behind the posts in to raptures.
It means Wakefield now leapfrog their derby rivals and in to 11th place in the Super League table, opening up a four point gap over bottom two London and Widnes.
Castleford coach Ian Millward said: “The weather was always going to indicate lots of tries and it was close, but not close enough. At 28-26, we had to nail it and they were there for the taking.
“Rangi Chase was a mixture, good and bad. There’s improvement there. We had the ball, but what we did with it was frustrating. That’s why we got beat.”