Trinity staged an outstanding second half comeback to secure a 32-30 win over Castleford Tigers at Belle Vue, and make it three wins out of three in pre-season.
Having conceded four tries in the opening 35 minutes, Wakefield pulled a try back on the stroke of half time but Luke Million crossed in the first minute of the second period to extend the Tigers’ lead to 30-4.
From there though Trinity took control of the game, scoring four tries in ten second half minutes to get to within four points of their opponents, before Sam Williams converted Anthony Walker’s close range try six minutes from time to seal the win.
It took Castleford just three minutes to get the game’s opening score as the Wakefield defence failed to deal with a Ben Roberts grubber, allowing Luke Gale to touch down before adding the conversion himself.
Castleford continued to dominate the opening period, and could have scored a second just short of the quarter of an hour mark but for some outstanding work from Craig Huby and Mitch Allgood to hold Gadwin Springer up over the line.
The visitors didn’t have to wait long to extend their lead though as Greg Minikin went over in the corner on 17 minutes following a forty-twenty from Gale, before Paul McShane forced his way over from dummy half just three minutes later.
Gale converted both tries to extend the lead out to 18-0, and the England Scrum Half had a hand in the Tigers’ fourth try too, as his pass was brilliantly picked up off the floor by Greg Eden who finished well in the corner.
Having squandered a couple of half-chances down the left earlier on in the half, Trinity got themselves on the scoreboard on the stroke of half time, as Reece Lyne slid over close to the right hand corner flag following good work from replacement hooker Kyle Wood.
Australian half-back Williams, making his home debut for the club, missed the conversion to leave Wakefield trailing 24-4 at the break.
Looking to build on that score at the start of the second half, Wakefield got off to the worst possible start as Million darted over from dummy half just a minute into the half. Greg Eden added the conversion from in front of the posts to extend Castleford’s lead to 30-4.
Trinity responded in perfect fashion though as Williams linked up well with Jacob Miller before spinning out of a tackle to touch down for Wakefield’s second try.
Williams stepped up to convert the try himself, and that seemed to spark the home side into life as moments later Danny Kirmond broke the defensive line before being brought down just short of the try line.
And Trinity got their third try after 56 minutes with an outstanding length of the field effort that was finished by Bill Tupou.
Lyne picked up a loose ball on his own 20 metre line before feeding Ben Jones-Bishop with a lovely pass between his legs, and the winger looked to be going all the way before being hauled down by Rangi Chase. Wakefield though kept their composure and moved the ball across the field where Tupou touched down unopposed.
Liam Finn missed the conversion but the points continued to flow for Trinity as James Batchelor, having scored a hat-trick last week at Dewsbury, charged over from 30 metres out moments after coming off the bench. Finn was once again unsuccessful with the conversion.
And Trinity got themselves back to within eight points with their third try in six minutes as Joe Arundel reacted quickest to drop on Kyle Wood’s grubber on the right hand side.
Finn hit the upright with the conversion, but Trinity’s second half dominance continued as Tom Johnstone showed extraordinary athleticism to score in the corner just three minutes later to bring the score to 30-26. Huby took over the kicking duties but was unable to add the extras from the touchline.
With all of the momentum in their favour, Wakefield took the lead for the first time in the match with just over six minutes to play as Anthony Walker powered his way over close to the posts, leaving Williams an easy conversion to put Trinity ahead.
While Castleford threatened to hit back in the closing minutes, Trinity’s defence remained resolute to secure an outstanding 32-30 win.
Wakefield Trinity 32-30 Castleford Tigers