Danny Washbrook scored a dramatic late try as Wakefield came from 22-6 down to beat fierce rivals Castleford 24-22 in a thrilling first match of the Super League season at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The Tigers looked to be on course for a routine victory, inspired by debutants Denny Solomona, Scott Moore and Junior Moors, but Wakefield, written off by many before the campaign, showed they may not be the whipping boys of 2015.
Solomona grabbed the first two tries and Luke Gale went over, after Paul McShane had crossed for the Wildcats, while Justin Carney stretched Castleford’s lead to 16 points midway through the second half.
But Pita Godinet and Ali Lauitiiti got Wakefield back in it before Washbrook clinched a famous win for the Wildcats, who also fought back from a 20-point deficit to win against the same opposition in 2011.
Kick-off was delayed by 10 minutes to ensure nobody missed the start of the new campaign and the majority of the 10,728-strong crowd were in place to see Moore crunch Craig Hall with a ferocious hit.
Then Solomona took a cut-out pass from Jordan Tansey to score in the right-hand corner. He was on hand to finish again minutes later on the back of offloads from the impressive Moors and Jake Webster. The Wildcats got on the board as McShane dummied through a huge gap to touch down. Gale ensured Castleford went into the break with a 10-point cushion as he stepped off his right foot to find a gap and go under the posts. He appeared to have scored again minutes into the second half but was adjudged to have been held up over the line, with Michael Shenton denied in identical fashion two plays later.
Wakefield showed impressive resolve on their own line as Carney and Steve Crossley became the latest Castleford players to be held up.
The Tigers were finally rewarded for their pressure when Carney juggled a long looping Liam Finn pass to ground just before the hour mark, although Godinet sprinted onto a Tim Smith kick to give Wakefield fresh hope with 11 minutes to play.
Lauitiiti reached out after collecting Hall’s offload to set up a grandstand finish before Washbrook took a flat pass from Smith to burst through a gaping hole in the Castleford defence.
Castleford Tigers: Tansey, Solomona, Gibson, Shenton, Carney, Gale, Finn, Lynch, Moore, Millington, Holmes, Moors, Massey. Subs: Crossley, Milner, Boyle, Webster.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Hall, Riley, Collis, Lyne, Owen, Miller, Smith, Scruton, McShane, Kirmond, Washbrook, Smith, Paea. Subs: Anderson, Godinet, Annakin, Lauitiiti.
Referee: Robert Hicks.