Tigers beat the Red Devils at Magic
Posted: Saturday 4th September 2021 - 6:17 PM
Castleford Tigers gained a step closer to their play-off visions after they defeated Salford Red Devils 29 points to 18 at Magic Weekend.
Tigers Head Coach Daryl Powell made five changes to his squad who were defeated by Wigan Warriors on Monday evening. Paul McShane returns to action after suffering an abdominal muscle issue sustained in the fixture against Hull FC. Props George Griffin and Daniel Smith step in, replacing Grant Millington and the suspended Liam Watts. Finally, Jordan Turner and Peter Mata’utia come into the halves in place of Danny Richardson and Gareth O’Brien.
Magic Weekend marks a number of milestones for the Tigers; Jordan Turner reaches his 350th career appearance and Jesse Sene-Lefao will surpass his 100th Super League appearance after today’s game.
The Red Devils got us underway and were also the first to show a glimpse of danger in attack. Following Jesse Sene-Lefao’s high tackle on the halfway line, Salford threatened Castleford’s left edge through Morgan Escare, the creator, whose pass was slightly behind Ken Sio.
Salford’s pressure continued deep inside the Castleford half. A high kick from Krisnan Inu was caught and fumbled backwards by Clare who with the help of Evalds, avoided loss of possession. Salford’s Josh Johnson was penalised for being in the way of the ball and Turner’s kick drove the Tigers further up the field.
Two wonderful carries through Oliver Holmes and Peter Mata’utia rattled the Salford defence but it was Paul McShane who picked the ball up at dummy half and weaved his way through the Salford line. Peter Mata’utia added the extra points.
The clock hit the quarter hour mark and tables turned slightly. It was the Red Devils who broke on their left side displaying some wonderfully fluent hands through Escare to Lolohea and finally to the man in form Ken Sio who stepped inside and went over the line. Krisnan Inu’s successful kick levelled the scoring at 6-6.
The response from Castleford was immediate, and a powerful break from Jordan Turner drove the Tigers up the field. A six again call was given following an offside from Salford and McShane capitalised on this quickly from the ruck to which he slipped the ball inside to Smith who pirouetted underneath the posts. Again, Peter Mata’utia was accurate over the posts.
Moments before half an hour and Salford replied with their own piece of magic. Beautifully orchestrated down the left edge through Hingano and Lolohea, who offloaded smartly to Joe Burgess who went over with ease. Krisnan Inu tied the game once more.
The final fifteen minutes of the half remained competitively even, and the best chance came from Salford’s star man Ken Sio once again. Lolohea linked up well with Hingano whose pass to Sio was slightly behind him despite his best efforts to juggle the ball back into play.
Both sides tried their luck down the edges and were held out by robust, resilient defences. It came as late as thirty-eight minutes in the first half until the last try of the half was scored. A fantastic break through Peter Mata’utia gained yardage but it was Oliver Holmes who picked the ball up and bulldozed across the line two minutes from the half-time whistle.
Castleford started their attack straight off the back of halftime and continuously looked threatening. On the last tackle down the right edge, Peter Mata’utia delicately kicked a ball towards the corner and Foster gathered but was denied from an alert Dan Sarginson on the right.
The Fords wanted more and the ever-aggressive Tyla Hepi ripped the ball ten metres off the Salford line giving back Castleford possession of the ball. After back-to-back sets on the Salford line, Adam Milner on the fourth tackle flung the ball out to Jordan Turner who marked his 350th career appearance with a powerfully impressive try. The two extra points were added by Peter Mata-utia.
Unsurprisingly, Salford replied with that exact same pressure they’d endured for the opening second half. Cas defended four consecutive sets on their line before Krisnan Inu made a sharp left-foot step inside and went over the line. Inu added two extra points closing the gap to 22-18.
Castleford remained penned up against their line and relied on excellent defensive duties by both Turner and Clare down their left-edge. The pair on two separate occasions grabbed and drove Sio out of touch on the left edge proving difficult to break down.
In the seventy-second minute, Peter Mata’utia, who was the Tigers’ stand-in half back demonstrated two sublime dummies drawing the defenders in and scooting over the line. Peter Mata’utia also added the extras to make the score 28-18.
Seconds from the final whistle, Turner confirmed the Tigers’ two points through a drop kick securing a 29-18 victory.
Full-time: Castleford Tigers 29 – 18 Salford Red Devils
Castleford: Evalds, Olpherts, Blair, Shenton, Clare, Mata’utia, Turner, Griffin, McShane, Smith, Holmes, Sene-Lefao, Massey
Interchanges: Milner, Foster, Hepi, Matagi
Tries: McShane, Smith, Holmes, Turner, Mata’utia
Goals: Mata’utia (4/5) Turner (1/1)
Salford: Escare, Sio, Inu, Sarginson, Burgess, Lolohea, Hingano, Johnson, Atkin, Burke, Livett, Robson, Brown
Interchanges: Luckley, Roberts, Lannon, Addy
Tries: Sio, Burgess, Hingano
Goals: Inu (3/3)
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