Tigers lose in golden point

Posted: Monday 5th August 2019 - 11:20 AM

The Tigers arrived at KCOM Craven Park in good form with three wins from their last four matches, but were without hooker Paul McShane for the trip to East Yorkshire as he served a one-match suspension.

That meant a move for Adam Milner into dummy half with Jacques O’Neill providing rotation from the bench, whilst Greg Eden and Cheyse Blair returned to the left edge to rekindle their wing/centre partnership after missing out in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, the hosts were boosted by the loan arrivals of Hull FC duo Dean Hadley and Jez Litten in their bid to escape the relegation battle and it was them who looked the most threatening in the early stages as they raced into a 12-0 lead inside 15 minutes.

Half back Josh Drinkwater was at the heart of both moves and his delicate grubbers early in the tackle count created tries for Craig Hall and Adam Quinlan as the home side made their field position count, winger Ryan Shaw converting both efforts.

Cas hit back as Pete Mata’utia followed up his own kick into the in-goal to touch down and then converted his own try to reduce the arrears to six points, but Shaw extended it back into a two-score cushion when slotting over a penalty in the 30th minute.

It was no more than Rovers deserved after a really sloppy opening half hour from the Tigers but the remaining 10 minutes until half-time were much better.

First, Jordan Rankin dragged his side back into the contest with a brilliant finish, the full back taking Liam Watts’ quick offload to slice through the defence and hold off the efforts of Quinlan and Weller Hauraki to score to the right of the posts.

The Fords then went the length of the field from the kick-off with a strong set. Watts again carried forward to churn up the metres before Blair added further momentum down the left. From there, Trueman kicked towards the posts for James Clare to gather brilliantly to touch down, with an eight-point try to result as he rode a high tackle from Jimmy Keinhorst to stretch over.

Mata’utia added the extras once again, along with the resulting penalty, to put Cas 20-14 in front at half-time.

The second half began with Rovers on the front foot and enjoying the better field position but this time it was the Tigers who struck first somewhat against the run of play. It came on the back of some resilient defence to withstand three sets on their own line before hitting back.

It was a loose pass from KR that set things up, with Mata’utia quick to pick up and release Greg Minikin into space down the right flank. The centre still had plenty to do but he stepped back inside the covering defence and outpaced the chasers on an 80-metre dash to the line, Mata’utia tagging on the extras to increase the lead out to 12 points.

It wouldn’t prove to be enough of an advantage though as Rovers scored twice in two minutes at the start of the third quarter to throw things wide open once again. It was Ben Crooks with both scores as he first finished Chris Atkin’s long-distance break under the posts before outjumping Greg Eden to Drinkwater’s kick on the following set, two more conversions from Shaw tying things up at 26-26 with 15 minutes remaining.

The momentum was right behind the home side by this stage but Danny McGuire missed a simple looking drop goal with nine minutes remaining to relieve the pressure on the Tigers after Rankin’s 40/20 attempt had drifted out on the full. McGuire was then denied another attempt by a superb effort from Trueman, Milner and Watts as they charged out of defence to block the kick and regather possession.

Mata’utia missed from the tee for the first time of the afternoon with a penalty goal five minutes from time that would have put his team back in front but again KR couldn’t capitalise as Drinkwater this time pulled his drop goal attempt wide.

That teed up a seven-tackle set for the Tigers with two minutes left on the clock as they worked around the ruck for field position, only for Trueman to have his one-point effort charged down. However, back in possession and with strong field position, Cas had one more opportunity to win it but Mata’utia opted to go for the line himself as the Rovers defence pushed up on Trueman and the chance was lost, setting up golden point.

The first set of extra-time went to KR and up stepped McGuire to win the game for his side. First the half back booted a 40/20 to take his team straight downfield and then on play one from the tap he finally slotted over the winning drop goal.


Full Time: Hull KR 27-26 Castleford Tigers


Hull KR

Quinlan, Shaw, Crooks, Keinhorst, Hall, Drinkwater, McGuire, Masoe, Atkin, Murray, Tomkins, Hauraki, Lawler


Hadley, Litten, Addy, Mulhern

Tries: Crooks (2), Hall, Quinlan

Conversions: Shaw (3/3)

Penalties: Shaw (1/1)

Drop Goal: McGuire

Castleford Tigers

Rankin, Clare, Minikin, Blair, Eden, Trueman, Mata’utia, Watts, Milner, Sene-Lefao, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey


Millington, Maher, O’Neill, Clarkson

Tries: Mata’utia, Rankin, Clare, Minikin

Conversions: Mata’utia (4/4)

Penalties: Mata’utia (1/2)

Attendance: 8,004


*Match report by Matt Holden

**Photography by Melanie Allatt Photography

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