Castleford 40 Wakefield 6: Seven-try Tigers crush Wildcats
The Tigers were forced to settle for a draw in round one after Josh Mantellato’s last-minute heroics for Hull KR but there was no such drama in front of a crowd of 9,761 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday afternoon.
Stuart Howarth opened the scoring for Wakefield but the Tigers went into the break with a commanding lead after converted tries from Denny Solomona, Ben Roberts and Luke Dorn.
Wakefield managed to keep the Tigers scoreless in the final 15 minutes but they were left to reflect on back-to-back defeats.
The Wildcats enjoyed an early spell of pressure close to the Castleford line and they made it count as Howarth burrowed his way over from dummy half.
Luke Gale kicked the restart out on the full to gift Wakefield more good field position but the Tigers held firm and a flurry of penalties allowed the hosts to settle into the game.
Gale redeemed himself by converting from the touchline after Dorn’s cut-out pass had put Solomona over in the corner.
Dorn almost laid on another try after good interplay with Jake Webster and Solomona but Reece Lyne tracked back to snatch the ball from Gale’s grasp.
The Wildcats were struggling to get through a set of six without conceding a penalty and they were duly punished when the Tigers quickly moved the ball from left to right before Roberts stepped back inside to touch down.
Mike McMeeken was denied the chance to extend Castleford’s lead by a forward pass by Milner but the home side were in soon after through Dorn, who dummied his way to the line after good work by Gale.
The Tigers scrum-half was on target again from out wide to make it 18-6 at half-time.
Dorm caused Wakefield all kinds of problems in the opening 40 minutes and the Australian full-back laid on the first try of the second half, his break and pass giving Holmes a stroll to the line.
With the points in the bag Castleford began to enjoy themselves led by Junior Moors, whose barnstorming run gave Milner the opportunity to step his way under the posts.
Quick hands from the Tigers allowed Solomona to finish acrobatically in the corner and the hosts were 36-6 to the good after another touchline conversion from Gale.
Holmes went over for his second try after finding space out wide but Gale blotted his copybook by sending his kick wide of the posts.
Solomona looked set to complete his hat-trick after pouncing on a loose pass close to his own line but the winger did not have the legs at the end of a physical match on a heavy pitch.