Tigers On Top In Local Derby
Posted: Sunday 30th December 2018 - 3:35 PM
Castleford’s pre-season campaign got off to the best possible start on Sunday afternoon, as the Tigers demolished local rivals Featherstone Rovers 56-0 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
A home side littered with youngsters and fringe players completed a professional job in the festive fixture, with a number of them making claims for future first team action.
The Tigers wasted little time in stamping their authority on the game, scoring inside the first five minutes via Kieran Gill, after some smart handling from Jake Sweeting and Joe Wardle.
After the initial assault on their line, Featherstone eased their way into the contest in the following fifteen minutes. However, the Rovers showed little in terms of a tangible attacking threat. Therefore, it was inevitable that the hosts would also bag the second score of the afternoon.
It came via familiar means, with Gill going in at the corner thanks to a one-handed offload, this time from Tuoyo Egodo.
Then, five minutes later, Gill completed a wonderful first half hat-trick. The set started with an outstanding take from the winger on his own goal line, and ended with him stretching over the whitewash, after benefitting from a Wardle break down the left flank.
The first half was playing out as you would expect an early pre-season friendly would but, with a few minutes remaining of the opening 40, the Mend-A-Hose Jungle were reminded of the little love lost between the Tigers and their local rivals.
A scuffle broke out in the middle of the park which saw a pair of players sent to the sin bin. The identity of the Rovers player surprised few, as Ryan Bailey made the short walk to the sheds. Youngster Robbie Storey saw yellow for the Tigers, after standing his ground against the often-feared veteran prop.
With 24 players on the paddock, Castleford took advantage of the space as time expired, scoring their fourth try of the afternoon through James Clare. Centre Greg Minikin was instrumental in the build-up, feeding his winger with a beautiful flick pass.
Much like the first, the second period began with a quick try from the Tigers as they extended their advantage. This time it was Lewis Carr who – after a prolific 2018 with the Tigers academy – struck just two minutes into his first team debut.
Then, swiftly after, it was Minkin’s turn to wrestles his way over the whitewash, further adding to Featherstone’s woes.
As time progressed, the Tigers’ line-up became ever younger, but it did little to affect the quality that Castleford were serving up.
Brad Jinks was impressive in the hooker role, and it was his quick thinking that earned the Tigers a penalty that led to the hosts’ next score. With the Rovers outmatched, all it took was some quick hands to the right edge to provide Clare with his second of the afternoon.
The demolition continued as we entered the final quarter of the contest. Egodo continuously proved that he was too big and too fast for his opposite numbers to deal with, making it very easy for Carr to secure his brace.
With time beginning to run down, the Tigers remained on the offensive. Aston remained imperious, booting a 40/20 out of nowhere. No points came from that proceeding set, but Castleford didn’t have to wait too long as Jake Sweeting scooped up a loose ball and raced 80 yards to the line.
Soon after, the 50 came up for the Tigers as Calum Turner got in on the act, stepping his way past a number of would-be tacklers close to the whitewash.
There was just time at the death for Carr to dive over in the corner, securing his hat-trick.
That proved to be the final score of the afternoon, much to the relief of the visiting Featherstone supporters.
All-in-all, a productive run-out for the Tigers, and one that puts them in good stead ahead of the rest of pre-season and the 2019 campaign ahead.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 56-0 Featherstone Rovers
Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Egodo, Gill, Aston, Sweeting, Cook, Jinks, Clark, Wardle, Storey, Summers
Turner, Fella, Carr, Hall, Graham, Dobson, Doyle
Tries: Gill (3), Clare (2), Carr (3), Minikin, Sweeting, Turner
Conversions: Aston (5/11)
Hartley, Taylor, Hallett, Hardcastle, McDaniel, Tansey, Punchard, Cooper, Maskill, Darly, Day, Harrison, Lockwood
Beckett, Bailey, French, Hawkins, Richardson, Cranswick, Waite-Pullen
Golden Gamble: 15902
GMB Man of the Match: Calum Turner
*Match report by Ross Williams
*Photo courtesy of Simon Hall
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