Come back sinks under-19s
Posted: Monday 4th March 2019 - 5:03 PM
The under-19s kicked off their 2019 Academy Championship campaign with a 38-28 defeat to a gutsy Newcastle Thunder outfit.
Things were extremely promising for the Tigers in the early reckoning, as they jumped out to an 18-0 lead inside the first quarter. However, unwilling to roll over and accept a hefty defeat, Newcastle gritted their teeth and fought their way back into the contest.
Thunder were ten points down at the break after getting over for a couple of tries, but they became a different beast in the second half, dominating the Tigers for the full 40 to claim a come-from-behind victory.
As aforementioned, the Tigers looked excellent in the opening 20 minutes, and looked to be on their way to a comfortable victory as they monopolised possession and scored three quick tries.
The pick of this initial flurry of scores was finished well by Lewis Carr, but in truth it was all about the build-up. After a storming run from Joe Summers, the Tigers caught Newcastle back-pedalling and centre Brad Graham did exceptionally well – travelling 40 yards with the ball in hand before working a smart offload to his winger.
Half-back Ben Howe added to the Tigers’ tally after a smart show-and-go a few moments later, as did Brad Jinks – who grabbed his four-pointer by barging over from dummy half.
This really became the Tigers’ only successful spell though, as Newcastle grew into the game and soon struck themselves via Sean Croston, and then winger Anthony Dyne.
A Kian Morgan effort just before half time maintained the Tigers’ lead at the break, but Newcastle were on the warpath.
A reshuffle at the start of the second half – thanks to Lewis Carr having to make way after picking up a knock – didn’t help the Tigers cause, and at this point Thunder began smelling blood in the water.
A pair of tries from back-rower Malik Steele nudged the Tynesiders into a slender lead, and the visitors never let it slip.
With just two points in it, the game was still on a knife-edge, but Castleford shot themselves in the foot on the hour-mark. After conceding a host of penalties, the referee decided to take matters into his own hands, giving Jinks ten minutes in the sin bin for his repeat offences.
Newcastle made the man-advantage pay, as Alex Donaghy reacted quickest to a loose ball in the Tigers’ in-goal, touching down to open up an eight-point deficit.
With ten minutes to play, some hope was restored as Brad Graham managed to plant the ball over the whitewash but, as the centre failed to convert his own try, it was clear the Tigers had given themselves too much to do.
To their credit, Newcastle managed the situation well and they sealed the two points at the death, as Croston got over for his second of the afternoon.
All-in-all, a sobering defeat for the Tigers on the opening weekend of the season, and one that gives Tony Smith and his side plenty to think about ahead of their chance to put things right at Warrington next Saturday.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers U19 28-38 Newcastle Thunder U19
Castleford Tigers U19
Sweeting, Bean, Collinson, Graham, Carr, Howe, Westwood, Fella, Jinks, Peachey, Summers, Attley, Dobson
Morgan, Jowett, North, Hodgson
Tries: Carr, Howe, Jinks, Morgan, Graham
Conversions: Sweeting (3/3), Graham (1/2)
Newcastle Thunder U19
Todd, Allen, Nokes, Croston, Dyne, Donaghy, Wilcox, Nettleton, Gowing, McGurk, Clemmitt, Steele, Howe
Ellis, Walton, Robinson, Civil
Tries: Croston (2), Dyne, Nettleton, Steele (2), Donaghy
Conversions: Donaghy (5/7)
*Match report by Ross William