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First Utility Super League: Castleford Tigers see off Wakefield Wildcats
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Castleford got their Super League season back on track with a 43-20 victory over local rivals Wakefield at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
The Tigers blew a 24-6 lead against St Helens a week ago, but two tries apiece from Richard Owen, Daryl Clark and Scott Wheeldon, with further scores for Justin Carney and Liam Finn helped them consolidate third place in the table.
The visitors were made to work for their win, though, and must have feared the worst when Wakefield scored two tries at the beginning of the second half to cut the deficit down to six points, but this time they held their nerve to hand the Wildcats their fifth successive defeat.
Dean Collis and Reece Lyne made their returns from injury as Wakefield head coach Richard Agar made four changes, reshuffling his backline in an effort to stifle Castleford.
However, the Tigers, for whom Michael Channing and Owen returned to action, were unfazed and quickly gained the ascendancy.
A quick move down the left ended with Carney sprinting down the touchline before bouncing past the challenge of Jarrod Sammut for his eighth try in his last five games.
The visitors sensed blood and duly extended their lead through Clark, who touched down underneath the posts after Grant Millington had burst through Wakefield's shaky defence before selflessly passing to the hooker, with Marc Sneyd adding the first of five conversions.
To their credit, Wakefield refused to roll over and Paul McShane cleverly jinked over from dummy half although the hooker was then to blame for conceding possession, with Owen collecting the ball on the right before shrugging off two last-gasp challenges to score.
Slice of luck
The deficit was then reduced to two points although the Wildcats were given a slice of luck as Cas stalled after believing Matt Ryan had knocked on. Lyne took advantage of their hesitancy to power down the left before slipping to Sammut to cross.
However, Daryl Powell's men capitalised on some lapse defending from Wakefield to score two converted tries on the stroke of half-time, with Owen getting his second after collecting Weller Hauraki's cut-out pass before Wheeldon crossed the whitewash after exploiting a gap.
Yet from 26-12 down, the Wildcats came storming back as Lyne reacted excellently after Ryan's grubber kick shot above Cas defender James Clare before Sammut scored his second, out-jumping Owen from an up and under.
The deficit was cut to six points and the Tigers were noticeably shaken, with Frankie Mariano knocking on after going over the whitewash, while Sneyd opted to take the next attack on himself instead of pass to Carney, who had the line at his mercy.
Sneyd atoned for this oversight as it was his clever grubber that sat up perfectly for Finn, who snatched the ball at the second attempt to give Cas some breathing space.
Sneyd added a drop goal to ensure there would be no way back for Wakefield, whose misery was compounded when Clark and Wheeldon both touched down after breakaway moves late on.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalan Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalan Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R|
|Saturday 13th September|
|Catalan Dragons 28 - 6 Castleford|
|London Broncos 36 - 46 Bradford|
|Friday 12th September|
|Salford 36 - 6 Widnes|
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