Golden Point Defeat For Cas
Posted: Thursday 28th March 2019 - 10:24 PM
In as dramatic a West Yorkshire derby as you’ll ever likely see, Castleford Tigers were defeated 21-20 by Leeds Rhinos on Thursday night, thanks to a Brad Dwyer golden point in extra time.
The Tigers came back from 16 points down to give themselves a chance of bringing home the two points, but Dwyer dealt the sickening blow inside the first minute of the additional ten.
The Rhinos came into the contest in desperation mode, after a torrid run of form which has seen them languish at the wrong end of the table.
With the home crowd behind them at a revamped Headingley Stadium, Leeds made their intentions known early on, scoring after just two minutes via a rampaging Konrad Hurrell.
The Tongan international benefitted from a stroke of luck, as Greg Minikin slipped in the line, but the finish was all class from the big man.
After the opener, the home side enjoyed the lion’s share of territory and looked to be the team on top in the first 20 minutes of the game. However, the Rhinos were unable to add to their lead thanks to some sturdy defence from the black and amber.
Having weathered the early storm, the Tigers found themselves a foothold in the game due to some strong stuff from the forward pack and Jake Trueman’s smart kicking game.
Before long, an opportunity emerged, and it fell to Liam Watts to do the honours. The prop – fresh off an England call-up midweek – channelled his inner halfback, running out wide and dummying his way over the whitewash. Peter Mata’utia hit the wood work with his conversion attempt.
When the scores were levelled though, it was all Leeds. The Tigers made a hash of the restart, and from there the hosts were dominant for a spell. Both Hurrell and Tom Briscoe looked to have added points to the board, but on both occasions the video referee turned the efforts down.
It was a case of third time lucky for the Rhinos though, when Hurrell found Ash Handley with a neat offload near to the line. The winger touched down, and there was no question about that one.
The Tigers otherwise survived the half in terms of tries, but Leeds did manage to notch two more points in the final minute after earning a penalty.
The Tigers could have done with a fast start to the second half, as they looked to get back on terms. However, the visitors struggled to work anything clinical early on, after a reshuffle that saw Calum Turner come on at full back in his first 2019 appearance.
Castleford were unfortunate five minutes into the half when a Trueman kick ricocheted off Kallum Watkins legs, giving the Leeds skipper the opportunity to pick up and race down the field. After some tracking by Turner, Liam Sutcliffe finished off the move, scoring off a Jack Walker offload.
Then a few moments later, the Rhinos were in again. This time, former test star Trent Merrin came up with the goods, crashing over from short range.
The signs looked ominous for the Tigers as we approached the final quarter. However, it soon became obvious that Castleford had not read the script.
On the hour-mark, Greg Minikin dived over on the right flank, instilling a belief that maybe – just maybe – a remarkable Castleford comeback was on.
Then, three minutes later, the western terrace was in full voice as Chris Clarkson got over on the last tackle, following an incredible set that included a sensational 70-yard break from Matt Cook – the unlikeliest of sources!
From absolutely nowhere, the Tigers were all of a sudden just four points shy of their bitter rivals, with time still on the clock.
The tension was palpable as the Castleford offence continued, so the away end simply ignited when Alex Foster grabbed the Tigers’ fourth try of the night, diving over to touch down Mata’utia’s grubber.
Turner failed to add the extras, so from there it was anyone’s game. Trueman tried twice to knock over a drop goal in the final moments – and the first even split the uprights, but it was called back for an obstruction.
Neither time could add a drop-goal, so we headed to golden point for the first time this season. From there, Dwyer did the business, giving the Rhinos the victory.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 20-21 Leeds Rhinos
Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, McShane, Watts, Milner, Millington, Sene-Lefao, Foster, Holmes
Moors, Cook, Clarkson, Turner
Tries: Watts, Minikin, Clarkson
Conversion: Mata’utia (0/1), Turner (2/3)
Walker, Briscoe, Watkins, Hurrell, Handley, Sutcliffe, Myler, Peteru, Dwyer, Oledzki, Jones-Buchanan, Smith, Merrin
Donaldson, Parcell, Singleton, Holroyd
Tries: Hurrell, Handley, Sutcliffe, Merrin
Conversions: Sutcliffe (0/2), Smith (1/2)
Penalty: Sutcliffe (1/1)
Drop goal: Dwyer
*Match report by Ross Williams
**Photography by Melanie Allatt
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