AUSTRALIAN scrum-half Tim Smith delivered a marvellous individual try to seal Wakefield Trinity Wildcats victory in a nervous ending to this Magic Weekend opener.
All the pre-match talk was about the return of Castleford’s own half-back Rangi Chase from suspension but he was outshone in the end as Richard Agar’s side edged home in an entertaining game at Manchester.
An erratic first period, in which both sides were guilty of poor defence conceding a total of eight tries, saw Wakefield narrowly in front 24-20.
Things tightened up in the second period and when Peter Fox crossed in the 53rd minute after Smith’s kick wickedly eluded Nick Youngquest, it seemed Trinity may have done just enough.
However, Castleford captain Danny Orr skipped over and converted his own score to set up a tense final 10 minutes.
Smith - jeered off by Wildcats fans last week - eased nerves though as he dummied and sliced his way through from 20m in the 78th minute, just moments after Castleford prop Nathan Massey had rightly had an effort chalked off by video referee James Child.
Trinity winger Ben Cockayne thought he had added another in the final seconds but video Child also ruled that out and instead awarded a penalty to give Tigers one last chance.
Chase, though, wasted it as he threw a nothing pass, typical of the England star’s mixed afternoon, and so Wakefield avenged their Good Friday defeat against their derby rivals and now replace them in 11th place.
Man of Steel Chase had made an instant impact by setting up Jordan Thompson’s try after just 61 seconds.
However, he then saw a pass intercepted by Vince Mellars who raced 80m to score for Wakefield.
Chase also fumbled to set up position for a simple Danny Washbrook try but he redeemed himself seconds before the end of the half with some real trickery to create a splendid score for Oliver Holmes.
Kirk Dixon missed his second simple conversion, though, to leave their West Yorkshire rivals just in front.
Trinity full-back Richard Mathers, on loan from Castleford, had earlier scored as their opponents’ defence, so ruthlessly exposed in a record 70-12 Super League defeat at Hull KR on Sunday, fell apart again.
Tigers responded through Stuart Jones, named by coach Ian Millward at hooker but as an auxiliary forward to stiffen things up in the middle.
But Castleford’s defence dozed again to allow Steve Southern to touch down Smith’s kick and Paul Sykes, who kicked four from six goals, improved to extend their lead.
Youngquest responded when Wakefield made a hash of Chase’s high kick but Washbrook - off Smith’s cute pass - saw them in front before Holmes struck just before half-time.
Castleford Tigers Owen, Youngquest, Thompson, Dixon, Williams, Chase, Orr, Jackson, Jones, Huby, Ferres, Holmes, Mitchell. Subs (all used) Walker Milner, Millington, Massey.
Wakefield: Mathers; Fox, Collis, Mellars, Cockayne; Sykes, Smith; James, Amor, Aiton, Raleigh, Mariano, Kirmond, Washbrook. Replacements: Wood, Southern, James, Lauitiiti.
Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).