THE TRY-SCORING exploits of Castleford Tigers’ Denny Solomona continue apace as swift as the rapid winger himself.
The prolific Kiwi grabbed yet another hat-trick last night, remarkably his sixth of the season.
To complete it inside just 23 minutes, admittedly against a pretty woeful Wakefield Trinity side, simply shows the ruthless quality of the player.
Solomona now has 35 tries for the Super League campaign leaving him just one behind the best yet - 36 shared by Bradford Bulls’ Lesley Vainikolo and Leeds Rhinos’ Danny McGuire in 2004.
It seems inevitable the 22-year-old will break those records either at St Helens next Thursday, in Perpignan the following week or during their final game of the year at home to Widnes. However, he was not the only one to flourish as Castleford, responding to that agonising late loss at Warrington, delivered their third win from four Super 8s games.
There were records aplenty as scrum-half Luke Gale passed both 500 career goals and 1,000 Super League points.
Luke Dorn, the quality Australian full-back, scored a try that saw him level with David Hodgson, the former Wigan, Huddersfield and Hull KR winger, in sixth place in the list of Super League’s all-time try-scorers with 168.
Furthermore, Rangi Chase had his best game since returning to the club to heap misery on Wakefield who cannot wait for their season to end, this being a sixth straight defeat. They remain winless in the Super 8s.
Daryl Powell’s side got off to a flying start when Solomona crossed inside just six minutes.
But when his team-mates allowed Craig Hall’s restart to bounce dead, the winger was found wanting as Reece Lyne fended him off at the corner for Wakefield’s instant reply. Gadwin Springer made a storming burst, and was only brought down at the last by a desperate Hall.
The danger did not pass; Chase, looking like the Rangi Chase of 2011 Man of Steel vintage, crabbed across field, dummied twice and then accelerated through a gap for his first try in the five games since rejoining the club at the start of July.
The last time the former England stand-off scored for Castleford was in 2013.
Hall, who heads to Toronto Reds at the end of the season, badly botched a kick to concede a drop-out and, from there, more slick handling saw a lovely assist from Dorn slip Solomona over for his second.
Hall’s night did not got any better. His restart this time sailed dead and, though Trinity defended that set, Gale’s kick forced another drop-out and Solomona was soon in for this treble.
In fairness, Wakefield – who saw Ben Harrison perform well on his belated debut – did not crumble and they hit back with a fine try of their own, Tom Johnstone producing a splendid one-handed finish.
It only slowed the death, though, as Castleford finished with two more tries before the break. Dorn’s effort was a gem, and fitting that it took him level with Hodgson.
With three more games to go before he heads home to Australia, the brilliant full-back may yet fancy his chances of clawing in Leon Pryce (173) in fifth.
Chase switched a pass behind the ruck on the last tackle to Gale who then hit it back inside once more for Dorn to dash through.
Paul McShane then crossed as Wakefield fumbled in comical style on their own line and with Gale adding his fifth goal, Powell’s side were 34-8 up at the break.
Wakefield, whose former Castleford hooker Scott Moore suffered a serious shoulder injury during his 200th appearance in the British game, started the second period better when Bill Tupou brushed off defenders to cross but Jake Webster soon replied.
Ryan Hampshire produced a stunning effort to chase back and deny the lightening Johnstone after he intercepted Dorn’s pass on his own 20m.
Referee Gareth Hewer deemed he then laid on too long, though, and brandished the on-loan Wigan Warrior a yellow card.
Nick Scruton bundled over for Wakefield while Castleford were down to 12 men, finally breaching some remarkable defensive effort from the hosts.
Liam Finn finally found the target with his conversion at the fourth attempt and Johnstone added his second try soon after as Wakefield made the most of the man advantage. But Castleford finished strongest with Gale getting a try to take his tally to 18 points and past that 1,000 mark.
Castleford Tigers: Dorn; Hampshire, Minikin, Webster, Solomona; Chase, Gale; Patrick, Milner, Springer, Holmes, Savelio, Moors. Substitutes: McShane, Millington, Cook, Maher.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Hall; Lyne, Arundel, B Tupou, Johnstone; Miller, Finn; Scruton, Moore, Arona, Molloy, A Tupou, Harrison. Substitutes: Sio, Simon, Yates, Anderson.
Referee: G Hewer (Whitehaven).