Cas too strong for Broncos
Posted: Saturday 10th August 2019 - 9:16 PM
The Tigers returned to winning ways with a hard-fought 20-6 victory over London Broncos.
Cas were far from at their best throughout the match against a side scrapping for their lives in the relegation battle but a stronger second half performance from the Fords proved too much as they overturned a narrow half-time deficit to take the two points.
The game marked half back Jamie Ellis’ return to the starting line up for the Tigers for his first appearance of the season after a lengthy absence through injury, whilst prop Daniel Smith was also recalled to the side to cover the loss of pack leader Liam Watts.
With blustery conditions around the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, the Broncos had the wind at their backs in the first half but were content to work through their sets, turning the Tigers pack around and kicking into touch when the opportunity presented itself.
Cas were arguably the more adventurous of the sides in the opening 40 minutes but had a lack of control with their last tackle options to thank for a 6-4 deficit at the break. Daryl Powell’s men did have some opportunities early on but couldn’t find the right pass and it proved to be the Broncos who posted the first points in the 21st minute as Brock Lamb found a gap in the home defence, Dixon converting.
However, the Tigers hit straight back in their next possession after testing London with some good ball movement. Jordan Rankin first linked in well on the left before Jake Trueman and Ellis switched it back to the right to put Pete Mata’utia in space, the centre’s offload almost putting Paul McShane over. From the next play, it went back to the other flank and this time Tuoyo Egodo had the space to finish in the corner, although Mata’utia couldn’t add the extras into the teeth of the wind.
There were no more points before the break with Ellis having the best chance as he chased his own low kick into the in-goal but London got there a fraction ahead of the scrum half to ensure they took a two-point lead into the sheds, with Dixon missing a penalty shot from the touchline with the final play.
The second half started much more brightly for the Tigers with some better intent to their attacking play. Trueman pulled the strings in the opening minutes as he tested London full back Alex Walker with a towering kick for Rankin to chase before then stepping through the line on the following set, jinking his way into a gap before teeing up the supporting Oliver Holmes to go over.
Mata’utia missed again with the goal attempt but the Fords led for the first time and they made it two scores in quick succession with another score in 51st minute as Jacques O’Neill celebrated a new contract extension by scoring his first try for the club. Again, it came on the back of some enterprising passing play as it went out to the right via James Clare and Mata’utia before Ellis grubbered back towards the posts for O’Neill to capitalise on a London error to touch down.
Ellis took over the kicking duties to stretch the lead out to 14-6 and that could have been extended further as Rankin pulled off his trademark play by climbing above Walker to claim Ellis’ bomb shortly afterwards, only to have the try ruled out as he was harshly adjudged to have taken out the Broncos player in the challenge for the ball.
Rankin then thought he was over again as Cas continued to pile on the pressure but this time the play was brought back for a knock on by Jesse Sene-Lefao at the ruck as London survived.
The respite didn’t last long though as the Tigers found the line for their third try of the half at the start of the fourth quarter. It came on the back of an outstanding run from Rankin who took a ball inside his own in-goal area before counter attacking on a weaving run 40 metres up-field. That laid the platform for the latter part of the set as Smith offloaded in midfield to create space down the left and quick hands from Sene-Lefao and Cheyse Blair sent Egodo over for his second of the night, Ellis adding the extras from the touchline to stretch it out to 20-6.
Cas were chasing more points by this stage but a lack of patience hampered them for the remainder of the game, the best opportunity coming on the back of a lovely break from Grant Millington. His offload gave Trueman space only but Matty Fleming denied Egodo his hat-trick as he reacted first to the kick ahead.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 20-6 London Broncos
Rankin, Clare, Mata’utia, Blair, Egodo, Trueman, Ellis, Clarkson, McShane, Millington, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey
Sene-Lefao, Maher, O’Neill, Smith
Tries: Egodo (2), Holmes, O’Neill
Conversions: Ellis (2/2), Mata’utia (0/2)
Walker, Dixon, Fleming, Kear, Williams, Abdull, Lamb, Butler, Cunningham, Mason, Pitts, Adebiyi, Yates
Battye, Ioane, Fozard, Krasniqi
Conversions: Dixon (1/1)
Penalties: Dixon (0/1)
*Match report by Matt Holden
**Photography by Melanie Allatt Photography
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