Tigers avoid defeat with last gasp try
Posted: Friday 5th July 2019 - 7:22 AM
In what proved to be a hugely entertaining encounter, Castleford Tigers U19s came from behind to earn a point against Leeds Rhinos.
Castleford’s academy side may not be enjoying their best ever season in terms of results however, they certainly turned on the style in their 28-28 draw against a strong Rhinos outfit.
Tigers piled on the pressure from the first minute and it didn’t take long for them to be rewarded.
Inside four minutes, Robbie Storey was able to get on the end of a grubber kick from Ritchie Westwood to put the home side ahead.
The opening quarter of an hour was completely dominated by the amber and black. Castleford forced a goal line drop out and controlled majority of possession in those opening 15 minutes.
However, all it took was one moment of magic from the visitors to respond. As Westwood produced yet another little grubber kick, Iwan Stephens defused the situation and raced the full length of the pitch to score.
Nevertheless, this didn’t seem to rattle Tony Smith’s side. Just ten minutes later, the Tigers were back in front following a superb team effort down the right wing. Westwood broke the line and was able to find Storey. He then released an on-coming Jake Sweeting for a sensational try.
The Tigers had no intention of stopping and scored again straight from the Rhinos kick off. Another break by Westwood proved pivotal as Leeds collapsed in defence. Castleford worked the ball out wide to Lewis Carr who went over to make it 14-6.
Towards the end of the half, Leeds were able to level things up with a couple of efforts from Liam Hamill and Corey Johnson.
What’s more, they carried on their momentum into the second half and took the lead barely a minute after the restart.
Once again though, Castleford refused to lose their composure and quickly produced a response. Leeds conceded a penalty deep in their own half leaving the Tigers to work the ball out wide to Kieran Carr who powered over for the try.
Castleford were two points ahead but that didn’t last long. Back to back efforts from Hamill and Sam Walters saw the Rhinos move eight points ahead. Many in the stands feared that this marked the end of the road for the hosts.
However, they couldn’t have been more wrong. Jacob Doyle crashed in the corned on 62 minutes to give Castleford hope.
As the match entered its final moments, hope turned to elation. The Tigers shifted the ball out wide to Kieran Carr who spotted the gap, exploited it, and sent the crowd into raptures.
Sweeting wasn’t able to convert from the touchline meaning both sides had to settle for a 28-28 draw. Nevertheless, it was Castleford who came off the field feeling like winners after a hugely impressive comeback.
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