Tigers retain Adam Watene Trophy
Posted: Friday 21st February 2020 - 9:48 PM
A dominant second half performance saw Castleford Tigers defeat Wakefield 32-15 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The two rivals clashed for the Adam Watene Trophy and battled out an evenly contested first half before the Tigers took control after the break to make it three wins from four at the start of the Betfred Super League season.
The Tigers welcomed back Peter Mata’utia from suspension as Cheyse Blair switched to the second row and they started brightly with an opportunity to open the scoring inside five minutes until Jake Trueman’s attempted kick wide was snaffled in good field position.
From there, the visitors countered and a one-on-one ball steal on Jordan Rankin gave Wakefield the territory to strike as Joe Westerman found a gap, another former Tiger in Ryan Hampshire converting to make it 6-0. A second repeat set for Trinity resulted in a penalty that Hampshire duly converted to stretch the early advantage after 11 minutes, but the Tigers hit back almost immediately with two quickfire tries.
It came as no surprise that they came down Cas’ prolific right edge as Blair and Derrell Olpherts both touched down for the third consecutive match, the first from Paul McShane’s delicate grubber from dummy half before Olpherts dived over in the corner after great work from Danny Richardson.
Wakefield responded as Tom Johnstone finished acrobatically inside the corner flag to restore Trinity’s lead at 12-10 as the game approached the half-hour mark but Tigers winger James Clare replied in kind down his side’s left edge after Rankin’s lovely cut-out pass gave him a walk-in try.
Richardson missed his second difficult conversion of the game but the Fords were narrowly in front until a Trinity penalty three minutes before half-time squared things up, Jacob Miller then dropping a goal on the hooter to give Wakefield a 15-14 advantage following a frenetic opening 40 minutes.
That proved to be as good as it got for the away side as Cas took full control of proceedings when play restarted. The message from both coaches will have been to improve discipline at the break with the majority of points coming on the back of penalties conceded, but it was instead a brilliant piece of play from Rankin after the restart that created the first repeat set as the full back chased a pin-point Richardson up-and-under to regather for his side before it was worked wide on the last for Clare to force a drop out with a well-judged kick.
Clare then reaped the rewards as the pivots again went to the left with Michael Shenton finding a lovely offload to give his winger the chance to dive over out wide, the video referee giving the green light. Richardson couldn’t find the target with the conversion into the teeth of the wind but he did slot over a penalty two minutes later after James Batchelor was sin-binned for blocking the run of Oliver Holmes as he chased another McShane kick into the in-goal.
With a man advantage, Cas piled on the pressure and a Clare break through the heart of the Wakefield defence laid the platform for his side’s fifth try of the evening. Again, the Tigers went to the boot on the last and Trueman’s kick this time ricocheted perfectly for Holmes to gather and touch down under the posts on his 200th appearance for the club, Richardson’s goal taking the gap out to 26-15.
Olpherts then got the last try of the night as the Fords continued to capitalise on their greater numbers, the winger bagging his second after a superb flick offload from Mata’utia.
Batchelor then returned to the field but Wakefield promptly lost another man to the bin when Romain Navarrete was yellow carded. The visitors did manage to stem the tide this time but Cas’ job was done and they rounded off the scoring with another Richardson penalty to retain the Adam Watene Trophy and win their 14th consecutive match against their rivals.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 32-15 Wakefield Trinity
Rankin, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Clare, Trueman, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Griffin, Holmes, Blair, Massey
Millington, McMeeken, Smith O’Neill
Tries: Clare (2), Olpherts (2), Blair, Holmes
Conversions: Richardson (2/6)
Penalty: Richardson (2/2)
Jowitt, Tupou, Lyne, Arundel, Johnstone, Miller, Hampshire, Kopczak, K Wood, Tanginoa, Pitts, Ashurst, Westerman
Batchelor, Tangata, J Wood, Navarrete
Tries: Westerman, Johnstone
Conversions: Hampshire (1/2)
Penalty: Hampshire (2/2)
Drop Goal: Miller, Navarrete
Sin Bin: Batchelor
*Match report by Matt Holden
**Photography by Melanie Allatt Photography
***Golden Gamble number: 24455
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