Play-off defeat ends 2019 season
Posted: Thursday 26th September 2019 - 9:33 PM
A lacklustre Castleford went down to Salford in the play-offs as their 2019 season came to an end.
Hopes were high for the Tigers for the trip across to a Red Devils side which finished the regular Betfred Super League rounds in third place, with last week’s impressive victory over Challenge Cup holders Warrington giving Cas confidence of extending their campaign.
However, a misfiring attacking display ultimately cost the Tigers as struggled to break down a resolute Salford defence as they went down 22-0 at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Despite travelling across the Pennines as underdogs once again, Cas began the contest brightly and had the better territory in the opening stages without creating any clear-cut opportunities, the returning Greg Eden looking his side’s biggest threat early on.
However, a couple of loose errors invited Salford into the contest and the home side took full advantage with two quick scores, Tyrone McCarthy touching down a low Tui Lolohea kick in the 13th minute before Jake Bibby crossed out wide on the following set, the video referee giving the Red Devils centre the benefit of the doubt despite Greg Minikin’s attempted cover tackle.
Krisnan Inu converted both tries and then added a penalty goal 10 minutes before the break to make it 14-0, this after Jordan Rankin had almost counter punched for the Tigers with a searing run down the left flank that was stopped a metre short by a brilliant try-saving effort from Salford full back Niall Evalds.
Rankin was then called back for an obstruction as an under-pressure Cas side sought a way back into the game, but they remained scoreless when the half-time hooter sounded and faced a mountain to climb to keep their dream of an Old Trafford return alive.
In truth, the second half was one to forget with the Tigers dominating territory without really firing in attack. Grant Millington and Jake Trueman both went close with strong runs in the Salford red zone, whilst the home side seemed content to keep things tight with the clock and conditions in their favour.
Despite spending most of the half on the back foot, it was the Red Devils who posted the first points after the break when Man of Steel contender Jackson Hastings sliced through from close range after Trueman had pushed an attempted 40/20 out on the full.
It was a fair summary of his side’s night after an evening not lacking in effort but ultimately falling short of the quality needed for a result with several first team stars injured in the stands, with the Tigers left to lick their wounds after Inu rounded off the scoring with a late penalty goal.
Full Time: Salford Red Devils 22-0 Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils
Evalds, Sio, Welham, Bibby, Inu, Lolohea, Hastings, Mossop, Tomkins, Dudson, Jones, Griffin, McCarthy
Lussick, Flanagan, Walker, Burke
Tries: McCarthy, Bibby, Hastings
Conversions: Inu (3/3)
Penalties: Inu (2/2)
Rankin, Clare, Mata’utia, Blair, Eden, Trueman, Mata’utia, Watts, McShane, Millington, Holmes, Clarkson, Massey
Milner, Cook, O’Neill, Smith
*Match report by Matt Holden
**Photography by News Images
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