Match report: Castleford Tigers 22 Wakefield Wildcats 24

Justin Carney.
Justin Carney.
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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 began, showed they will 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.

The Tigers fans were cheering again soon after as Solomona took a cut-out pass from Jordan Tansey to score in the right-hand corner.

The former London winger was on hand to finish again just minutes later on the back of offloads from the impressive Moors and Jake Webster.

The Wildcats got on the board as McShane dummied before strolling 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.

Ex-Tigers winger Richard Owen was next to threaten at the other end but he dropped the ball attempting a spectacular finish in the corner.

Wakefield continued to show 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 and send the Wildcats fans wild with joy.