Flying winger Greg Eden raced in for four tries as Castleford Tigers made it 11 straight victories over local rivals Wakefield Trinity and clinched third place in the Betfred Super League.
Victory was never in doubt once Daryl Powell’s men raced into an 18-0 lead in the opening quarter and although their standards dipped for a spell they were always too good for a Trinity side with little but pride to play for.
Eden was the shining light with some great finishing that took him to within six of the league’s top scorers despite missing a lengthy spell of the season, but full-back Peter Mata’utia also impressed in a good warm-up for the big games to come.
The first half started in exciting fashion, but petered out with the Tigers 18 points ahead at the break.
From Castleford’s kick-off Scott Grix tried an instant chip over the home attackers. It did not work as full-back Peter Mata’utia collected and the hosts were quickly on attack.
With just a minute on the clock Greg Eden went over for the opening try, collecting Luke Gale’s chip over for his 12th try in seven games since coming back from injury. Gale added the conversion to make it 6-0.
Wakefield got the ball back from a short restart, but then inexplicably did not kick on the sixth tackle of the set that followed and Cas surged back into attack.
Michael Shenton was well tackled by Grix just short of the line, but there was no stopping Eden again in the ninth minute as he took Shenton’s pass from a classic Tigers left edge move to grab his second try. With Gale goaling from the touchline it was 12-0.
It got worse for Trinity as Tyler Randell was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle and before they had a chance to regroup Cas were over again. Greg Minikin took Mata’utia’s pass to dive over in the corner and with Gale converting from the touchline an 18-0 lead had been established in the first 15 minutes.
Surprisingly there were no more scores in the half as mistakes crept into the game of both sides.
Trinity briefly threatened when Reece Lyne tried to send Ben Jones-Bishop over in the corner, but Eden got his hands to the pass, knocking on while saving a likely try.
Handling mistakes in the cold, windy conditions and stoppages for treatment to injuries saw the game slow down and there was no sign of another try until just before half-time when Minikin went over in the corner for the Tigers, but the long pass to him by Gale was forward.
Wakefield started the second half better and their early pressure brought their first reward when Bill Tupou took Matty Ashurst’s lofted pass to score the visitors’ first try.
Cas responded as Shenton was tackled just short and Jake Trueman’s kick forced a goalline drop-out.
Grant Millington then came back on after a spell on the sidelines and with his first touch scored as he produced strong finish taking several Trinity players over with him on his determined run to the line. Gale’s goal made it 24-4.
Wakefield continued to show spirit with Reece Lyne going over from close range, doing well to reach out after being tackled. Ryan Hampshire kicked the conversion from the touchline to keep the game alive.
It was not for long, however, as the try of the night came from the Tigers. Greg Minikin started the move with an offload as he was being pushed back, Mata’utia made a break then Shenton made further ground before Eden showed lightning pace to race over from 40 metres out. Gale again goaled.
Another try soon followed with Eden over again for his fourth of the night and 18th of the season from Shenton’s pass. Gale’s touchline goal made it 36-10 and it was game over
Trinity did force a drop-out, but it was the Tigers with the cutting edge again as Junior Moors backed up Paul McShane’s half-break and pass to score another try converted by Gale.
With that the scoring was completed as Cas ended their home campaign in good style with a commanding win over their neighbours.
Scorers - Castleford: Tries Eden 4, Minikin, Millington, Moors; goals Gale 7. Wakefield: Tries Tupou, Lyne; goal Hampshire..
Castleford Tigers: Mata’utia; Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Eden; Trueman, Gale; Watts, McShane, Millington, Moors, McMeeken, Massey. Subs: Roberts, Milner, Sene-Lefao, Clark.
Wakefield Trinity: Grix; Tupou, Lyne, Arundel, Jones-Bishop; Wood, Hampshire; Huby, Randell, Arona, Ashurst, Batchelor, Crowther. Subs: Jowitt, Pauli Pauli, Annakin, Horo.
Referee: Gareth Hewer