Wakefield Wildcats v Castleford Tigers: Big match preview

WHILE the prize is not as big and definitive as the famous ‘£1m match’ five years ago, it is hard not to recollect that crucial fixture when Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Castleford Tigers meet again this evening, writes Dave Craven.

On that dramatic night at Belle Vue, John Kear’s inspired Trinity defied the odds to gain the victory that secured their Super League status and, instead, condemned their arch-rivals to relegation.

Today, out-of-form Wakefield – with Kear due to leave at the end of the season - have no fears of the drop due to their surprise licence success last month but Castleford still require a much-needed win to revive their play-off hopes.

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Terry Matterson’s men were the early-season front-runners but a combination of injuries and loss of form has seen them fall to seventh with both Hull and Hull KR threatening to oust them from the eight.

The demoralising Challenge Cup extra-time semi-final loss against Leeds Rhinos – who visit Harlequins this afternoon - a fortnight ago has left a further hangover, illustrated by their 56-0 thrashing at Headingley by the same opponents last week.

“The challenge is to put the Challenge Cup defeat behind us,” admitted Matterson.

“We can keep feeling sorry for ourselves or get back to what we’ve been doing that has put us in this position.”

Ninth-placed Hull KR are hoping for a fourth successive home win over St Helens tomorrow ready for any slip up from Castleford or Hull, who head to Crusaders.

Meanwhile, ex-Hull captain Sean Long has been confirmed as Salford City Reds assistant coach for next season.