After the first ten games in Super League 2019 there was very little to choose between the top two sides in Yorkshire. Both the Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity have six wins under their belts, and are only separated in third and fourth position in the league table by two points difference. The Tigers have conceeded eleven points less, but also scored nine points less than Trinity.

Both sides came into the game with a number of injuries to first choice players which forced changes on the coaches, and both knew that going into the busy Easter period that the two points would be crucial to keep the pressure on the two sides above them, St Helens and Warrington Wolves.

After a scrappy opening ten minutes a kick to the corner from Jake Trueman was totally misjudged by Mason Caton-Brown and as the ball bounced free it was picked up by James Clare to walk three metres to score in the right corner. Peter Mata’utia converted with aplomb from the touchline for a 6-0 home lead.

The second try came five minutes later, this one down to brute force from Jesse Sene-Lefao as he crashed through the tacklers to stretch and ground on the line, injuring his arm in the process and having to be helped from the field. Mata’utia added the goal to double the lead.

A brilliant Corey Aston run, on the kick off return, got the Togers to within thirty and two playes later fast hands allowed Clare to cross for his second, again by the corner flag. This time Mata’utia was unable to add the extras but the Tigers were gathering momentum.

On twenty-three Corey Aston marked his debut with a try as he took a Dan Smith pass in space to dive over from five metres. Mata’utia added the conversion for 22-0, Trinity were struggling for any foothold in the game.

On thirty-three Masoon Caton-Brown grabbed Wakefield a lifeline as he found space down the left wing to score a spectacular try in the corner after the Tigers had spilled the ball close to their own line. Ryan Hampshire was unable to add the touchline conversion.

Mata’utia failed to kick a simple, thirty metre, penalty on thirty-seven and another on the half time hooter, the two sides went into the interval separated by eighteen points.

Castleford took just five minutes of the second half to increase their advantage as Greg Minikin went through three missed Trinity tackles to get over the line and ground. Mata’utia was again unable to convert, the stand-in full back didn’t have his kicking boots with him.  

Ben Reynolds went over for Trinity on forty-eight but was adjudged to have not grounded the ball but on the next play Caton-Brown crashed the line to get his second of the night for 26-8 but Hampshire again missed the conversion attempt.

When Trinity held down in the tackle Mata’utia opted to kick again and this time he found the target to again put his side twenty points ahead.

Greg Eden spilled the ball on his own line on sixty-two and from the resulting possession Trinity used the ball well with Joe Arundel forcing his way over the line to score. Hampshire added the conversion from wide for 28-14.

The Wakefield fightback was on after sixty-seven when a Jowitt found Reynolds to go thirty metres for Trinity’s fourth try of the night. Hampshire added the extra two for 28-20.

On seventy the margin was down to four points as a kick to the corner was knocked back into the hands of Tinirau Arona to walk over from five metres to ground. Hampshire converted from the touchline to narrow the margin to just two points with ten minutes left, it had been a tremendous fightback from the visitors.

Ben Jones-Bishop went close on seventy-six but determined Tigers defence forced him into touch with the try line begging. The Tigers managed to retain possession in the dying minutes to hold on to a two point winning margin.

Daryl Powell will be wondering what he needs to do to get his side to close out a game where they have a commanding lead. Wakefield fought back brilliantly in the second half, aided and assisted by some dumb football from the home side. In the end it was a nervous last ten minutes for both sides with the Tigers doing just enought to take the win and the two points. The formbook was right, not much between the two sides over eighty minutes.

Tigers: Mata’utia (4G), Clare (2T), Minikin (T), Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Aston (T), Watts, Milner, Sene-Lefao (T), Holmes, McMeeken, Massey. Subs: Clark, Smith, O’Neill, Moors.

Trinity: Jowitt, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Arundel (T), Caton-Brown (2T), Reynolds (T), Hampshire (3G), Fifita, Wood, Arona (T), Ashirst, Kirmond, Crowther.  Subs: Pauli, Kopczak, King, Hirst.

Referee: Chris Kendall.

Half-Time: 22-4.

Full-Time: 28-26.             

Attendance: .

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