Tigers return to form in London win
Posted: Tuesday 2nd July 2019 - 4:08 PM
Castleford climbed to fourth in the Betfred Super League table after a 42-10 victory over London at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The Tigers were without Peter Mata’utia (illness) and Junior Moors (broken hip) for the visit of the in-form Broncos but produced their best performance for a number of weeks with Jordan Rankin excellent following his switch to full back.
Cas’ ball movement already appeared better in the opening stages and caused all kinds of problems for a London side which were sent back to the bottom of the ladder following the loss, with James Clare and Mike McMeeken both going close to touching down as their side dominated field position.
For London, playmaker Jordan Abdull had a day to forget and it was his error that brought the visitors’ first foray to a halt in the 12th minute. From there, the Tigers pounced to open the scoring, counter-attacking through Adam Milner and Rankin before the latter popped up on the left edge later in the set to send Tuoyo Egodo over in the corner with a nice cut-out pass for a 4-0 lead.
The fluency continued in Cas’ play and they increased their lead at the start of the second quarter when McMeeken powered over from Paul McShane’s short pass on the last, Rankin’s conversion nudging his side further in front.
The full back was at the heart of a lot of his side’s positive moments in the opening 40 minutes and he continued to be heavily involved at both ends either side of the break. Firstly, his pass was intercepted by Kieran Dixon as he ran 90 metres to drag London back into it, before Rankin made swift amends with the final play of the half.
He took possession in centre field after the hooter had sounded and threaded a speculative grubber towards the Broncos line. Abdull should have mopped up in defence but his delay allowed McMeeken the opportunity to steal in for his second try of the game and put his side 16-4 in front at the interval.
The second half began with a bang and again it was the same three players involved in the first set following the restart. McMeeken charged down the blindside on half way and shrugged off Abdull’s attempted tackle to race into the backfield before his pass back inside sent the supporting Rankin racing over, a second try of the match from Egodo in the 47th minute then putting real daylight between the sides.
Once again, it came down the short side as McShane and Jake Trueman spotted space on the other flank and the half back’s bullet pass missed out two attackers to send his winger over untouched, Egodo running along the in-goal in front of the Wheldon Road end to make Rankin’s conversion easier for a 26-4 advantage.
The Tigers were turning on the style by this stage and Trueman ghosted through from a lovely dummy to score his side’s sixth try of the contest under the posts before that man Rankin popped again with devastating footwork and acceleration to create the next score, this time James Clare the teammate to profit with a superb finish on the right touchline after the ball was worked wide.
As the minutes passed, the crowd could see the confidence flowing back into Daryl Powell’s men and they continued their one-way traffic with some more fluid play, punishing London’s overhit kick-off with a training ground move as McShane and Milner produced a well-timed run-around to open up a huge gap in the defence for Chris Clarkson to stroll through on his return to the side.
This brought about a number of positional changes for the Tigers as Powell rotated his troops, an injury to Egodo bringing about the biggest change as Cheyse Blair went onto the wing and Clarkson into the centres. London capitalised from a drop off in intensity as Rhys Williams barged over out wide to reduce the score to 42-10 heading into the final five minutes.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 42-10 London Broncos
Rankin, Clare, Minikin, Blair, Egodo, Trueman, Aston, Watts, Milner, Smith, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey
McShane, Millington, Cook, Clarkson
Tries: Egodo (2), McMeeken (2), Rankin, Trueman, Clare, Clarkson
Conversions: Rankin (5/8)
Walker, Dixon, Morgan, Kear, Williams, Abdull, Smith, Battye, Cunningham, Krasniqi, Pitts, Gee, Yates
Butler, Lovell, Richards, Fozard
Tries: Dixon, Williams
Conversions: Dixon (1/2)
*Match report by Matt Holden
**Photography by Melanie Allatt Photography
*** Golden Gamble winner: 07407
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