Wakefield 12-18 Castleford: Tigers claim local bragging rights with hard-fought win

Castleford ended their four-match losing run in Super League with an 18-12 triumph over Wakefield to extend their sequence of wins over their near neighbours to 15.

The Challenge Cup finalists held a tenuous 10-6 lead at half-time but bossed the show after the break, eventually scoring four tries to two, to leave Chris Chester still looking for his first derby win as Trinity coach.

The victory came at a cost, however, with half-back Gareth O’Brien heading for the changing rooms before half-time on crutches after falling awkwardly after kicking the ball.

Wakefield also suffered a serious-looking injury just before the break, with centre Bill Tupou carried from the field on a stretcher, also with a knee injury.

Bill Tupou was stretchered from the field at the end of the first half

O’Brien is now a doubt for Wembley, with the final against St Helens just a month away, while Tupou looks certain to miss out on selection for the Combined Nations All Stars, who play England on Friday week.

Wakefield, who have not beaten the Tigers since February 2015, had England winger Tom Johnstone back from a two-month lay-off with concussion issues and were also boosted by the return of forwards Kelepi Tanginoa and Matty Ashurst.

They made a conscious effort to get the ball out to Johnstone but their passing was wayward at times and both teams reverted to more direct tactics of driving the ball through the middle.

Defences were well on top throughout the first half, although the introduction from the bench of the ball-handling skills of David Fifita and Liam Watts helped pep up both teams’ attack.

The Tigers, who had 17-year-old winger Jason Quarequare on the bench, failed to capitalise on an early 40-20 kick by Danny Richardson but did open the scoring midway through the first half when prop George Griffin won the chase to Paul McShane’s grubber kick on the last tackle.

Richardson converted the try but Wakefield skipper Jacob Miller crossed four minutes later, jinking his way to the line after a break by centre Reece Lyne had split the visitors’ defence open to set up the position.

Mason Lino’s goal made it 6-6 but Castleford struck six minutes before the break when centre Peter Mata’utia broke from his own half to create space for winger Jordan Turner, who beat three defenders on his way to the corner for his 13th try of the season.

Jordan Turner in action for Castleford

With Turner moving into the halves in place of O’Brien and doing an admirable job, Castleford continued to look the more dangerous side in the second half.

Substitute Joe Arundel pulled off a tremendous last-ditch tackle to deny winger Derrell Olpherts but full-back Max Jowitt gifted a try to Tigers captain Michael Shenton when he fumbled Richardson’s kick behind his own line.

That extended the visitors’ lead to 14-6 and there was no way back for Trinity when Mata’utia took Turner’s pass to cross for his side’s fourth try on the hour.

Richardson could land only one conversion, though, and Miller touched down Lino’s kick for his second try 12 minutes from the end to give Castleford coach Daryl Powell a nervous wait before he could celebrate his team’s seventh successive win at Belle Vue.

Wakefield: Jowitt, Kershaw, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone, Miller, Lino, Tanginoa, Walker, Arona, Pitts, Ashurst, Westerman. Subs: Fifita, Wood, Battye, Arundel.

Tries: Miller 2 Goals: Lino 2

Castleford: Evalds, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Turner, Richardson, O’Brien, Massey, Sene-Lefao, Holmes, Matagi, McShane, Griffin. Subs: Watts, Foster, Smith, Qareqare.

Tries: Griffin, Turner, Shenton, Mata’utia Goals: Richardson

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