Early end unlikely to deny win for Agar’s Wildcats

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Wakefield coach Richard Agar expects his side to be awarded the points after last night’s Super League match at Castleford was abandoned seven minutes from time with them leading easily.

The Wildcats had just scored their sixth try when spectators were told to evacuate the Princess Street Stand.

The club issued a public call for an electrician and the fire brigade were summoned.

Referee Ben Thaler had stopped play and, after a delay of around 10 minutes, blew for full-time.

The Rugby Football League’s match commissioner Tony Randerson confirmed that both coaches, Agar and Castleford’s Ian Millward, agreed with the decision to end the game early.

“The fault appeared to be related to a floodlight,” said Randerson.

“It seems the incident was not as serious as first thought but both coaches were in agreement that it was the best course of action.”

The result will need to be ratified by the RFL but Wakefield captain Danny Kirmond was presented on the pitch with the Adam Watene Trophy which is competed for annually between the derby rivals.

“I think the rule from the RFL is that the result can stand if it goes past 60 minutes but it’s at their discretion,” said Agar.

“Myself and Ian spoke on the sideline in consultation with the match officials and everybody’s safety is paramount.

“We didn’t know how long it was going to be before we could get the game going again so, with seven minutes to go, we felt the sensible thing was to let the result stand, especially with four scores in it at that point.”

Millward said he was happy for the result to stand.

“I felt they won fairly and squarely,” he said. “Any problems with regard to stadium safety comes first.

“I was very happy to stop the game. There was no way we were going to win the game from there and we haven’t taken too much time off the spectators. We think it was handled very well.

If, as seems certain, the result is allowed to stand, it condemns the Tigers to the foot of the table for the first time this year after going down to a fifth successive defeat.

The Wildcats ran in four first-half tries without reply and withstood a second-half fightback from their hosts to claim a first win in five matches.

Winger Peter Fox got two of Wakefield’s five tries but the architects for the visitors were Australian scrum-half Tim Smith and former Castleford full-back Richard Mathers, who never seems to fail to remind his old boss Ian Millward of his capabilities.

The Wildcats were freshened up after a week off, which also enabled Tim Smith to shake off a calf injury.

The Wildcats’ only heavy defeats this year have come in the absence of the Australian playmaker and he underlined his importance with an accomplished performance.

Little went right for Castleford from the moment Rangi Chase scooped up a loose ball to touch down after five minutes only to be penalised for a foul on Mathers.

They were on the wrong end of the first-half penalty count but there were no excuses for the one-on-one misses that enabled the Wildcats to make easy inroads into their defence.

Smith set the tone for the match when he went over directly from dummy-half 10 metres out on eight minutes, while Danny Kirmond walked-in five minutes later after the scrum-half opted to run the ball on the last tackle.

The visitors had to work harder for their next try, Fox taking a pass from the excellent Dean Collis to finish off a flowing move at the corner on 26 minutes.

Paul Sykes added the touchline conversion to tighten his side’s hold on the game and there was no way back for Cas’ when Mathers skipped in for a fourth try.

Sykes maintained his 100 per cent record with the boot and put over a drop goal for good measure to make it 25-0 at half-time.

However, the lead began to look vulnerable when Tigers second rower Jordan Thompson went over for two tries in a five-minute spell early in the second half.

He sliced through the Wakefield defence within three minutes of the resumption for his first and then got on the end of Justin Carney’s pass after Chase’s intelligent kick had created the opening.

Jamie Ellis kicked both conversions to make it 25-12 and, with the penalty count swinging back their way, rejuvenated Castleford had all the momentum.

Wakefield left winger Ben Cockayne had a try disallowed for a forward pass before the Tigers cut the deficit further with the try of the match on 65 minutes. Weller Hauraki was the architect, taking a return pass from Michael Shenton before sending winger Richard Owen over.

That made it 25-16 but Wakefield regained control and they made sure of the points when Fox took Mathers’s cut-out pass to cross for his second try.

Substitute Lee Smith added the goal and then cut through a tiring defence for the visitors’ sixth try seven minutes from the end. He then kicked his second goal.

Castleford Tigers: Tansey, Owen, Shenton, Carney, Thompson, Hauraki, Ellis, Massey, Chase, Mason, Gilmour, Millington, Holmes. Substitutes: Walker, Clark, Huby, Emmitt.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Lyne, Cockayne, Sykes, T. Smith, Poore, Aiton, Wilkes, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Substitutes: L. Smith, Amor, Mellars, Annakin.

Referee: B Thaler (Wakefield).