Super League: Castleford Tigers 22-24 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
|Castleford (16) 22|
|Tries: Solomona 2, Gale, Carney Goals: Gale 3|
|Wakefield (6) 24|
|Tries: McShane, Godinet, Lauitiiti, Washbrook Goals: Hall 4|
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats came from 16 points down to win at Castleford.
Denny Solomona crossed twice for the hosts early on before Paul McShane's try reduced the deficit for Trinity.
Luke Gale and Justin Carney ran in tries either side of the break to put Cas in control before Wakefield turned it around with three converted scores.
Pita Godinet, Ali Lauitiiti and Danny Washbrook all crossed as the visitors produced a stunning comeback to start the Super League season with a win.
While Gale kicked three conversions, visiting full-back Craig Hall landed all four of his goals, the last of them proving the matchwinner to settle a tense derby played in front of a packed 10,728-strong crowd.
|Castleford gave first starts to four of their new signings, Luke Gale, Scott Moore, Junior Moors and Denny Solomona, with Steve Crossley among the replacements.|
After a kick-off delayed by crowd congestion at The Jungle, Wakefield should have scored early on but Washbrook tripped and knocked on when a try looked certain.
Instead, it was the hosts who took the lead through debutant Solomona, who added a sublime second soon afterwards.
Hooker McShane's clever dummy and try brought Wakefield into the game but Gale ran over to restore a 10-point half-time lead for Cas.
The hosts looked comfortable after Gale and Carney had both scored tries, looking well in control heading into the final quarter.
But the Wildcats, written off by many as this season's whipping boys, never gave in.
Godinet and Lauitiiti gave them hope, before Washbrook powered through two defenders to put Wakefield ahead for the first time with just three minutes remaining.
Castleford head coach Daryl Powell:
"In terms of mentality, the last 10 minutes of each half was disgraceful, to be honest. 10 points in front with not much time left and still trying to score a try with our kicking game was pretty dumb.
"Then we went all soft defensively. We got sloppy in the last 10 minutes of the first half too. That's poor. The boys have really got to knuckle down in terms of mentality and fix it up pretty quickly.
"We had control for most of the game but couldn't go on with it at the end. I find it hard to fathom some of the decision-making. There will be some harsh words said. The boys know my feelings.
"It's clearly not acceptable to be losing that game from the position we were in. We've got a bit of work to do. It'll be 'squeaky bum time' for a few people in there."
Wakefield coach James Webster:
"I couldn't be happier to get two points at Cas, who put us away three times last year. It shows we're making some strides.
"We've tried to recruit differently and avoid what everybody kind of perceives Wakefield as - a team you could probably eventually out-arm wrestle.
"We've got a common belief that we're a tougher, stronger team than we were last year. We made it really tough for ourselves but I'm really proud of the way we defended.
"It's a really encouraging performance for us in that while we weren't great with the ball at times, our defence was good."
Castleford: Tansey; Solomona, Gibson, Shenton, Carney; Gale, Finn; Lynch, Moore, Millington, Holmes, Moors, Massey.
Replacements: Crossley, Milner, Boyle, Webster.
Wakefield: Hall; Riley, Collis, Lyne, Owen; Miller, Smith; Scruton, McShane, Paea, Kirmond, Washbrook, Smith.
Replacements: Godinet, Anderson, Annakin, Lauitiiti.
Referee: Rob Hicks.