U19s Match Report
Posted: Monday 16th April 2018 - 12:56 PM
Castleford Tigers U19s Academy side were left bitterly disappointed on Sunday afternoon, as they were downed 31-30 by Catalans Dragons at Castleford Panthers ARLFC.
The Tigers were dominant for much of the first half, racing away to a 22-6 lead at the break. However, the hosts collapsed in the second period, conceding 24 points on the bounce, and eventually succumbed to a drop goal at the death.
As aforementioned, Castleford were right on top in the early exchanges and wasted little time in bringing the game to their French opponents. Winger Jacob Doyle was on the board inside the opening ten minutes, thanks to a beautiful disguised offload from Calum Turner that caught out the entire Catalans defence.
As expected, much of the battle was fought up the middle, with two imposing packs going head-to-head, and Castleford’s forwards were very much winning as the first half drew on.
They laid an excellent platform, which allowed for a ten-minute burst of tries midway through the half.
In trademark Tigers style, the hosts blitzed the Dragons’ defence, setting up a quick-fire brace for hooker Jacques O’Neill and a further four-pointer for Turner, who did an excellent job waltzing his way past a host of defenders.
Catalans did have the last laugh before the break, getting on the board via Thibault Osuna, but the Tigers will have hit the sheds pretty happy with their first half performance.
However, any Castleford enthusiasm was short-lived, as Catalans re-entered the fray looking like a different side.
Turner, who’d impressed on both sides of the ball, played no part in the second period and the subsequent switch around of the side seemed to knock the Tigers off their stride.
Guillem Munuera struck soon after the break, after the Dragons had gone the length of the field from a 20-metre tap, and it was all downhill from there.
The French side got their tails up, and set about ‘doing a Cas’ on the hosts. In the space of eight minutes, Catalans struck four times, completely changing the landscape of the contest.
After the initial shellshock, Castleford managed to re-group somewhat and claw back the deficit. O’Neill, held together by tape at this point following an earlier knock, instilled some hope by barging over for his hat-trick try with seven minutes left on the clock.
Then, it looked as if the Tigers had somehow salvaged the situation, as Jake Sweeting knocked over a penalty to tie up the scores.
However, Castleford’s failings in the second half came back to bite them in the final moments as Arthur Mourgue lined up a drop-goal and slotted it over, sealing the narrowest of wins for the visitors.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers U19 30-31 Catalans Dragons U19
Castleford Tigers: Turner, Carr, Dobson, Hall, Doyle, Sweeting, Williams, Dore, O’Neill, North, Brown, Storey, Summers
Interchange: Jinks, Fella, Peachey, Morris
Tries: Doyle, O’Neill (3), Turner
Conversions: Sweeting (4/5)
Penalty: Sweeting (1/1)
Catalans Dragons: Brochon, Gorka, Carre, Laguerre, Martin, Munuera, Mourgue, Rouge, Osuna, Scimone, Delor, Le Cam, Belmaaziz
Interchange: De Macedo, Vailhen, Vergniol, Benet
Tries: Osuna, Munuera, Vergniol, Brochon, Carre, Le Cam
Conversions: Mourgue (3/6)
Drop Goal: Mourgue
*Match Report by Ross Williams