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28th 7:45PM Rhinos SL
January
20th 3:00PM Rhinos FR

Rhinos 24 - 26 Tigers


Five players got over for the Fords during the afternoon, with James Clare grabbing a brace of tries on the left edge.

Preseason or not, clashes between the Tigers and our big city rivals are always hard-hitting affairs, and the intensity of this one was evident from the opening few sets.

Some big drives from Castleford forced a penalty early on, allowing for the first touch of class from the black and amber. The ball went through the hands, eventually looping over to skipper Michael Shenton who battled his way over for the first try of the afternoon.

The Tigers went close again just moments later, as Jesse Sene-Lefao was held up just over the line, however it was the hosts who were next on the scoresheet. Off the back of two straight penalties, the Rhinos went to the right flank and, rather fittingly in his testimonial game, Kallum Watkins stretched over and planted the ball down.

There was anything but panic from the Tigers though as they quickly set to work regathering their lead. It was James Clare who came up with the score, rising highest to beat his opposing winger to a Jake Trueman kick that could have hardly been any more perfect. Despite nailing the first, new signing Jordan Rankin put his second conversion attempt just wide.

As we entered the second quarter, Castleford began to flex their muscles. Once again it was Trueman the architect as he spread the ball towards an ever-potent left edge. Pete Mata’utia was good in support, as was Shenton who smartly shipped it to Clare, running in for his brace.

As the half came to a close, the Tigers found themselves well on top, and there was time for one more before the break as Junior Moors dropped on a batted-down ball off the back of another excellent Trueman kick. 

However, Leeds also came up with a score before the hooter sounded, with Adam Cuthbertson striking from range.

After the break, it was the Rhinos carrying the momentum and - inside the first five minutes - their dominance reaped its reward as Harry Newman gathered up a loose ball to score wide out. 

Following the second half opener though, the Tigers rode the wave and were eventually able to get down the right end of the field. From there, Rankin showed some great quickness to open up a hole and Alex Foster benefitted with the four-pointer.

But, the hosts remained ever eager to keep in touch with the Tigers, so it came as little surprise when it was Leeds who struck next via Ash Handley.  

With 20 minutes remaining in the derby and just four points separating the two sides, it was all very much to play for at Headingley.

Needless to say, the pendulum kept swinging, meaning it was the Tigers who notched the next points, extending their slender lead to eight. It was Paul McShane this time, who smartly took a chance and went himself down the blind side when Castleford were threatening inside Leeds’ red zone.

The lead was cut down once again five minutes later as Handley went in for his second. A change of kicker also benefitted Leeds, as Cameron Smith nailed one from the sideline to being the Rhinos within two.

With the game hanging in the balance, it was the hosts with the ascendency, but the Tigers resiliently hung on with some solid defensive work. The score line proved to be final, with Castleford running out winners at Headingley.

Full Time: Leeds Rhinos 24-26 Castleford Tigers

 

Castleford Tigers

Mata’utia, Minikin, Foster, Shenton, Clare, Trueman, Rankin, Watts, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey

Interchange

Milner, Moors, Cook, Clark, Aston, Turner, Clarkson

Tries: Shenton, Clare (2), Moors, Foster, McShane

Conversions: Rankin (1/6)

 

Leeds Rhinos

Walker, Newman, Watkins, Hurrell, Handley, Lolohea, Myler, Peteru, Parcell, Singleton, Ferres, Sutcliffe, Merrin

Interchange

Cuthbertson, Ward, Dwyer, Oledzki, Jones-Buchanan, Smith, Donaldson

Tries: Watkins, Cuthbertson, Newman, Handley (2)

Conversions: Lolohea (1/4), Smith (1/1)

Attendance: 6,087

*Match report by Ross Williams

February
1st 7:45PM Dragons SL

Tigers 20 - 4 Dragons


Paul McShane and Greg Eden scored the all-important points for the black and amber in a hard-fought tussle with the French visitors.

In the Baltic conditions of Wheldon Road, the two sides largely spent the first ten minutes of the game feeling one another out. As expected, much of the ball went through the forwards but the first real flashpoint came when Lewis Tierney looked for all the world like he was going to score in the corner off a Brayden Williame pass.

He would have too, if not for an incredible effort from Greg Minikin, dumping the winger into touch.

The defensive play not only saved four points, but also spurred the Tigers into life. Castleford marched down the field in the next set, allowing for Paul McShane to go in for our first try of the 2019 campaign, as he took the ball from dummy half and sliced his way through a hole in the Catalans defence.

The Tigers weren’t able to instantly double their advantage however, as the Dragons reacted with a very solid stint. But, as the snow began to fall on the hallowed turf, Castleford’s defence held firm, negating Catalans’ attacks at every attempt.

Steve McNamara’s side were then made to pay for their lack of clinical edge up the field, as the Tigers added to their lead.

First, McShane added to his individual points tally by slotting an easy penalty close to the Dragons’ line. Then a couple of sets later, Castleford opened up in trademark style as Pete Mata’utia and Michael Shenton combined brilliantly to set Greg Eden free. As ever, there was no stopping the prolific winger when he got into full stride.

Eden’s try proved to be the final meaningful action of the half, seeing the Tigers enter the sheds twelve points to the good.

Upon their return to the paddock, it’s no exaggeration to say the game was all Castleford.

Attacking the Railway End of the ground, the Tigers smothered their opposition for ten minutes solid. Catalans defended valiantly, allowing only a further McShane penalty at first, but it seemed only a matter of time before the black and amber struck what would likely be a decisive blow.

However, to the Dragons’ credit, the hosts weren’t allowed to kill the game off so early on. The French side battled away, and even forged a couple of half-chances of their own.

Heading into the final quarter, it was still very much a contest despite Catalans being scoreless on the board. The Tigers found themselves being penalised to within an inch of their lives, leaving a maiden Dragons try an inevitability.

It came with roughly 15 minutes remaining on the clock, as Tierney utilised the overlap and dived over in the corner. Sam Tomkins was less fortunate with the boot, as he skewed the conversion wide.

This created nerves within the Mend-A-Hose Jungle for the final portion of the game, with the two points still not sealed.

However, these became short-lived, as Eden killed the game off well and truly in the dying moments, diving in superbly for his brace.

Full Time: Castleford Tigers 20-4 Catalans Dragons

 

Castleford Tigers

Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Rankin, Watts, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey

Interchange

Milner, Moors, Foster, Cook

Tries: McShane, Eden (2)

Conversions: McShane (2/3)

Penalty: McShane (2/2)

 

Catalans Dragons

Tomkins, Mead, Langi, Williame, Tierney, Gigot, Smith, Simon, Da Costa, Moa, Edwards, Garcia, Casty

Interchange

Bousquet, Whitley, Goudemand, Baitieri

Tries: Tierney

Conversions: Tomkins (0/1)

 

Attendance: 7,494

Keltbray Aspire Man of the Match: Paul McShane

Golden Gamble: 12008

*Match report by Ross Williams
*Photography courtesy of SwPix

 

7th 7:45PM Hull FC SL

Hull FC 18 - 26 Tigers


A brace from Michael Shenton, along with tries from James Clare, Jesse Sene-Lefao and Junior Moors did the business for the visitors, on a freezing East Yorkshire evening.

The game began with a trio of fairly lacklustre sets as the two sides attempted to get to grips with one another in the early exchanges. However, it didn’t take long for the Tigers to come up with something special, breaking the deadlock early.

It was Jake Trueman with the little piece of magic as he stepped off his left foot at the line, slipped a tackle and fed his skipper Shenton for the opening try of the evening.

Facing an early deficit, Hull came at the Tigers shortly after and threatened to get on terms. They were greeted with some stiff defence from the visitors though, halting their advances.

Instead, it was Castleford who struck again. This time, Sene-lefao got over after hunting down a loose ball close to the line. The four-pointer was sent upstairs to be tested by the video referee, but Ben Thaler saw nothing wrong with the back-rower’s grounding.

Facing the risk of the game getting away from them early, the Airlie Birds came at the Tigers with some intent following Sene-Lefao’s try, and eventually got over via a man who knows Castleford very well, Joe Westerman.

Then, it was Jake Connor’s turn to grab a try on his return to the Hull side, as he picked Sene-Lefao’s pocket in the middle of the field off the back of a Marc Sneyd kick.

The remainder of the first half was largely neck-and-neck, with both sides boasting half chances but neither managing anything clear cut, until the very final moment of the 40.

Right before the hooter, the Tigers were rewarded for some hard graft as they shipped the ball to the left and Shenton exploited a gap to score his second of the game. This gave Castleford a slender two-point lead as they entered the sheds.

Much like in the Catalans clash six days prior, the Tigers started the second half with some real intensity and they soon reaped the benefits of their effort. This time, it was the right edge that struck as Peter Mata’utia sprung the trap. The ball found its way to Clare, who dived in superbly in the corner.

After the early period of Castleford dominance, it looked as if the hosts were about to tie things up as Connor sliced through a gap and planted the ball down. However, on this occasion the video referee turned the effort down, due to an obstruction in the build-up.

Following the let-off, the Tigers attempted to once again get a firm grip on the contest and they did just that, as Moors picked up a further four points, dropping on a delightful little dummy half kick from Paul McShane.

The clash was far from over though, as a few moments later Jamie Shaul broke through a couple of weak challenges and set Jordan Lane free for a score, narrowing the deficit to six.

Things were getting relatively tense as we entered the final quarter, so a smart decision was taken for Jordan Rankin to boot a penalty when the opportunity arose.

Regardless, we were set for a titanic finish with Connor playing orchestrator for the black and whites and the Tigers’ defence scrambling.

Eight points to the good, the Tigers were somewhat careless inside the last ten minutes when they should have been managing the clock and killing off the contest. However, each time Hull received the ball back, the Castleford defence was up to the task. A sensational tackle from Alex Foster on a rampaging Bureta Faraimo was a highlight, as the back-rower bundled him into touch.

FC simply had no answer, as Castleford made it two wins from two and, at least in the short term, went to the top of the Betfred Super League.

Full Time: Hull FC 18-26 Castleford Tigers

Castleford Tigers

Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Rankin, Watts, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, Foster, McMeeken

Interchange

Milner, Moors, Roberts, Cook

Tries: Shenton (2), Sene-Lefao, Clare, Moors

Conversions: McShane (2/5)

Penalty: Rankin (1/1)

 

Hull FC

Shaul, Faraimo, Tuimavave, Griffin, Miloudi, Connor, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Matongo, Minichiello, Manu, Westerman

Interchange

Thompson, Lane, Paea, Litten

Tries: Westerman, Connor, Lane

Conversions: Sneyd (3/3)

 

Attendance: 11,244

*Match report by Ross Williams
*Photo courtesy of Melanie Allatt Photography

23rd 5:15PM Broncos SL

Broncos 6 - 40 Tigers


Seven different scorers did the business for the black and amber, securing a result that maintains the Tigers’ 100% record in the 2019 Betfred Super League.

The opening five minutes had an edginess about them, with neither side giving up much to the other. However, it didn’t take long for Castleford to do something about the empty score sheet. As soon as the Tigers began offloading, gaps emerged in the London defence and Pete Mata’utia reaped the benefits, finishing from a smart Paul McShane ball.

On the fast 4G surface though, tries were inevitable, and the next came at the other end of the field as former Tigers Rhys Williams got over after a quick shift to the left.

After a consolidating period for the Tigers, it was their turn to bounce back and their next score came from a set that was all about Jesse Sene-Lefao. In unfamiliar territory for the back-rower, he put in a neat little kick for Greg Eden to pick up 20 yards out. Then, a few moments later, the Samoan flicked out a wondrous offload close to the line, right into the path of a grateful Jake Trueman who strolled over. Paul McShane added his second conversion of the evening.

From there, Castleford opened up a cushion for the first time in the contest. After the flair of Trueman’s try, it was all about brute force for the next as Junior Moors took a short ball inside the five-yard line and plowed through the Broncos defence like it wasn’t there.

With just over ten minutes to play in the first half, it looked as if London had once again pulled one back. However, Matt Fleming’s effort was turned down by the video referee as, on inspection, he’d failed to ground the ball properly.

London were then made to rue their missed opportunity as the Tigers went down the other end of the field and extended their lead before the break. Sene-Lefao himself grabbed the four-pointer this time as Eden found the second-rower on the inside following a clinical break from the black and amber.

When the two sides re-emerged after the interval, it seemed obvious that one more try from the Tigers would probably be enough to secure the two all-important Super League points, and Castleford came out with every intention of wrapping it up early.

After just three minutes of the second period, the score came and – to the delight of his teammates – it was Liam Watts who grabbed it, his first try since joining the club last season.

Further tries seemed like an inevitability from then on, with the pace and intensity of the Tigers taking its toll on the stamina of the hosts.

Castleford’s sixth of the evening was the most straightforward of the bunch, as the visitors smartly shifted the ball along the line, creating a simple overlap for Eden to exploit.

As the game approached the final quarter, the result was firmly in the bag but the Tigers kept grinding away, eager to continue a strong defensive display by keeping London scoreless in the second half.

To their credit, the Broncos remained resilient and threw the kitchen sink at the visitors. However, the class of the Tigers continuously shone through, maintaining the second half clean slate.

To add further polish to the performance, a break from Michael Shenton carved open the Broncos defence in the final ten minutes, and the proceeding offload unleashed Jordan Rankin, who followed Watts’ lead in scoring his first Castleford try.

That wrapped things up for the Tigers, capping a successful evening in the capital.            

 

Full Time: London Broncos 6-40 Castleford Tigers

Castleford Tigers

Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Rankin, Watts, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, Clarkson, Massey

Interchange

Milner, Moors, Egodo, Cook

Tries: Mata’utia, Trueman, Moors, Sene-Lefao, Watts, Eden, Rankin

Conversions: McShane (5/6), Rankin (1/1)

 

London Broncos

Fleming, Dixon, Morgan, Kear, Williams, Abdull, Cunningham, Adediyi, Fozard, Ioane, Pitts, Lovell, Yates

Interchange

Richards, Battye, Mason, Pelissier

Tries: Williams

Conversions: Dixon (1/1)

 

*Match report by Ross Williams

**Photography by Melanie Allatt

March
1st 7:45PM Hull KR SL

Tigers 32 - 16 Hull KR


In a brutal clash that saw four yellow cards shown, the Tigers proved to be the classier of the two sides, running in six tries to dispatch of the Robins.

There was a frantic pace to the early exchanges as the two sides battled to gain an early foothold in the contest. Completions rates were low across the board though, with handling errors galore inside the opening ten minutes. Pete Mata’utia created the best half-chance early on, scampering 40 yards from inside his own ten-metre, but more sloppiness in the next tackle from the Tigers meant his effort counted for nothing.

With mistakes mounting, it was only a matter of time before Castleford were punished. It was towering prop Mose Masoe who did the honours, rumbling over from short range to open the scoring. Ryan Shaw made short work of the extras.

The Rovers weren’t alone on the scoreboard for long, however. Perking up after their slow start, the Tigers almost immediately hit back as they marched up the field. Rather summing up the first quarter, Castleford’s opener came from a wild ricocheted ball that somehow found its way into the arms of Jordan Rankin. After a juggle, the Aussie half-back managed to reach over the line and grab his first try on home soil.

The try seemed to provide the Tigers with a bit of much-needed rhythm, and the hosts used it to their advantage, going back-to-back in order to take the lead for the first time. This one was as simple as you like. A smart ball out from dummy half and a rampaging Liam Watts on the crash did the business – the second Watts try in as many weeks.

The prop forward has been in sparkling form in the first month of the campaign, and he proved to be a real handful yet again, playing the team he once called his bitter rivals.

With the two sides going hammer-and-tong at each other in defence, points were seeming hard to come by, but the class of the Tigers shone through just before the break as they snagged one more first half try.

It was really slick hands from Castleford as they shifted the ball to the left. The final delivery came from skipper Michael Shenton, who fed Greg Eden for yet another try in black and amber.

Things were always going to be tough for the visitors in the second period, with injuries sustained in the opening 40 leaving Tim Sheens with no choice but to drastically re-align his players.

Plus, the Tigers were in no mood for mercy. Within five minutes of Castleford leaving the sheds, the lead was extended. A smart offload from Mata’utia sprung the overlap and James Clare did fantastically to finish off the four-pointer, planting the ball on the postage stamp of grass available to him.

To their credit though, the Robins weren’t going away. Before the score line could get too far away from them, Hull KR bounced back and it was Masoe once again who did the damage, using his sheer size and strength from a few yards out.

For a few moments, with the two packs really going at each other, the game was there for the taking.

However, the Tigers soon put an end to any resistance.

Eden scored his second of the evening after collecting a pinpoint Jake Trueman kick to the corner. Then, arguably the try of the match was scored by Chris Clarkson. In just his second start for the club, the back-rower put on the afterburners from 30 yards out and just kept on rolling, despite the attention of a host of Rovers defenders.

The result was all but sealed ten minutes before the end, but the drama wasn’t quite over. Referee Gareth Hewer had a busy end to his night, brandishing two yellow cards after Grant Millington and James Greenwood squared off and traded punches like a pair of champion heavyweights in the middle of the park.

Then, he remarkably had to dish out two more in the final moments, as Weller Hauraki and then Danny McGuire were given their marching orders, to the delight of the home faithful that the half-back once terrorised in Leeds colours.

With just ten players on the field, Hull KR somehow managed to score as the clock ticked down, but Chris Atkin’s effort had little effect on the overall result as the Tigers held onto a comfortable victory, remaining top of the Super League pile.

Full Time: Castleford Tigers 32-16 Hull Kingston Rovers

 

Castleford Tigers

Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Rankin, Watts, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, Clarkson, Massey

Interchange

Moors, Cook, Egodo, O’Neill

Tries: Rankin, Watts, Eden (2), Clare, Clarkson

Conversions: McShane (1/3), Rankin (3/3)

 

Hull Kingston Rovers

Dagger, Shaw, Keinhorst, Vaivai, Hall, McGuire, Drinkwater, Jewitt, Lee, Masoe, Linnett, Addy, Hauraki

Interchange:

Mulhern, Greenwood, Atkin, Lannon

Tries: Masoe (2), Atkin

Conversions: Shaw (2/3)

 

Attendance: 8,770

Man of the Match: Pete Mata’utia

Golden Gamble: 00020

 

*Match report by Ross Williams

**Photography by Melanie Allatt

7th 7:45PM Wolves SL

Wolves 24 - 10 Tigers


Greg Eden and Greg Minikin came up with scores for a Tigers side low on troops, but their efforts weren’t enough to stop last season’s Super League grand finalists.

With two of the top sides in the competition going head-to-head, a cagey start was almost guaranteed. In the opening exchanges, there was very little to split the sides as they traded possessions. However, a Tigers penalty after seven minutes opened the game up for the first real chance of the game.

Castleford booted the ball down field and set to work attacking the Wire line. Paul McShane came up with the decisive play, floating a kick to the left flank. Michael Shenton patted the ball down, and Eden came up with it, prior to waltzing in for the first points of the game.

The Tigers’ second chance came swiftly after, but the opportunity to go ten points up went begging as McShane uncharacteristically lost the ball after a smart run-around play with Liam Watts.

The black and amber were undoubtedly on top though, with Warrington barely threatening the Tigers’ 20-metre during the first quarter of the contest.

With a side of the Wolves’ quality however, it was never going to be too long before Steve Price’s team got themselves on the board. It was simple enough for Warrington when they got down the right end of the field. After Minikin shot the line hunting for a break-up tackle, James Clare was left in no-man’s-land to deal with a floated ball over to Jake Mamo. The former Huddersfield man finished well in the corner.

A few moments later, it was a similar story as Warrington hit the lead. This one was all about the put-down, with Mamo doing brilliantly to bring up his brace.

Castleford clawed back some territory after these two quick-fire scores, but the Wolves pack was making a real impact up the middle with every set they had.

Three minutes before the break, Warrington added to their lead, once again attacking the Tigers’ right side. This time, Jack Hughes came up with the points after averted the attention of the Castleford defence.

Half time followed, and it came at just the right time for the weary-looking Tigers. A breather and a re-group was required before a massive second period of 40 minutes.

When the sides re-emerged, Warrington remained in control, booting a penalty in the early going to extend the deficit to three scores.

The Tigers attempted to get things rolling, but Castleford’s depleted pack was struggling against the power of Warrington up the middle, and it wasn’t long before Wire struck again.

The towering Ben Murdoch-Masila came up with it, surging over the line with a strong run from 20 yards out.

There was a feeling around the ground that the floodgates could open at that point. However, the Tigers showed they had some steel about them in the aftermath of Murdoch-Masila’s try.

Enjoying a rare spell of pressure, Castleford worked the ball to the right flank and Minikin finished off the move superbly.

There was some energy about the Tigers now, but with the result just about in the bag for the hosts, it was mainly pride Castleford were playing for as we entered the final quarter of the game.

The visitors’ defence held up well, but Wire were allowing the Tigers little in attack as the clock ticked down.

The Wolves eased to the victory, leaving Daryl Powell and the Tigers plenty to dwell on ahead of next week’s clash with Salford Red Devils.

Full Time: Castleford Tigers 10-24 Warrington Wolves

 

Castleford Tigers

Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Rankin, Watts, McShane, Moors, Sene-Lefao, Clarkson, Massey

Interchange

Foster, Cook, Egodo, O’Neill

Tries: Eden, Minikin

Conversions: Rankin (1/2)

 

Warrington Wolves

Ratchford, Mamo, Goodwin, King, Charnley, Austin, Patton, Hill, D. Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Tasi

Interchange

Murdoch-Masila, J. Clark, Philbin, Westwood

Tries: Mamo (2), Hughes, Murdoch-Masila

Conversions: Ratchford (3/4)

Penalty: Ratchford (1/1)

 

Attendance: 9,321

*Match report by Ross Williams

**Photography by Melanie Allatt

17th 3:30PM Red Devils SL

Tigers 24 - 20 Red Devils


A first try of the season for Nathan Massey - plus scores from Jordan Rankin, Greg Eden and Jesse Sene-Lefao secured the two Super League points, in what was a fiery encounter between the two in-form sides.

In the winter sunshine, it was the Tigers who started with the spring in their step and it took just seven minutes for the deadlock to be broken. With Salford on the back foot thanks to a repeat set, Jake Trueman split the visitors apart with a beautifully-weighted kick and – in a surprise to even him – Massey, fresh off signing a new two-year deal, latched onto the loose ball for a walk-in try.

Rankin converted with ease, but the points didn’t flow quite so easily after the opener.

Salford responded well, and much of the next fifteen minutes was played in the middle of the park, with neither side making much headway in their opposition’s red zone.

It took an error to spawn the next points of the game, and Kris Welham came up with it. The veteran centre spilled the ball close to his own line, handing Rankin an absolute gift. The half-back gratefully took the four points, and added two more with his boot a few moments later.

Twelve points to the good, the Tigers appeared comfortable as we entered the second quarter of the match. However, Salford soon burst into action. In a rare foray into Tigers territory, the Red Devils spread the ball right over to their left edge, allowing Jake Bibby to slide over and prolong his good form for the visitors.

Things then got even better for Salford as, just seconds after entering the fray, prop Adam Walker did (or said) something to get under Paul McShane’s skin. The Tigers’ hooker took exception, and was swiftly sent to cool off for ten minutes by referee Robert Hicks.

With an advantage in the numbers game for the final ten minutes of the half, Salford banged on the door but, with the Wheldon Road End at their backs, the black and amber held firm, quelling the Red Devils’ threat.

With McShane back in action at the start of the second period, the hooker began to pull the strings in his trademark style. Now attacking the home end of the ground, the Tigers found their mojo and, before long, the lead was extended as they shifted the ball to the left and Eden did what he does best in the corner.

However, the tide began to turn following this Castleford score.

After finding some momentum from somewhere, the Red Devils hit a purple patch, scoring back-to-back tries via Jansin Turgut and Joey Lussick. The latter converted both, putting Salford just two points adrift of the hosts.

As we approached the hour-mark, Eden looked to have pushed the Tigers further ahead, but Hicks pulled the try back for an obstruction in the build-up.

Castleford had seemingly regained the initiative though, and a moment of brilliance from McShane set Sene-Lefao up for what turned out to be a winning Castleford try.

A Rankin penalty nudged the Tigers further ahead as the clock ticked down, making Salford’s task just too difficult.

Bibby managed to get over for his brace with five minutes remaining, but there was no time for a comeback and the Tigers held on, maintaining their unbeaten home record before the visit of St Helens next week.

Full Time: Castleford Tigers 24-20 Salford Red Devils

 

Castleford Tigers

Mata’utia, Minikin, Foster, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Rankin, Watts, McShane, Moors, Sene-Lefao, Holmes, Massey

Interchange

Milner, Cook, Egodo, Clarkson

Tries: Massey, Rankin, Eden, Sene-Lefao

Conversions: Rankin (3/4)

Penalty: Rankin (1/1)

 

Salford Red Devils

Evalds, Olpherts, Welham, Bibby, Sio, Lui, Hastings, Murray, Lussick, Dudson, Jones, Turgut, Flanagan

Interchange

Walker, Nakubuwai, Tomkins, Griffin

Tries: Bibby (2), Turgut, Lussick

Conversions: Sio (0/1), Lussick (2/3)

 

Attendance: 7,750

Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel Man of the Match: Pete Mata’utia

Golden Gamble: 01701

 

*Match report by Ross Williams

**Photography by Melanie Allatt

 

22nd 7:45PM Saints SL
28th 7:45PM Rhinos SL
April
5th 7:45PM Warriors SL
11th 7:45PM Giants SL
18th 7:45PM Trinity SL
22nd 1:00AM Dragons SL
27th 5:00PM Warriors SL
May
3rd 7:45PM Wolves SL
16th 7:45PM Rhinos SL
26th 6:00PM Saints MW
June
7th 7:45PM Giants SL
13th 7:45PM Hull FC SL
21st 7:45PM Red Devils SL
30th 3:30PM Broncos SL
July
7th 3:30PM Rhinos SL
12th 7:45PM Trinity SL
21st 3:30PM Wolves SL
August
4th 3:00PM Hull KR SL
10th 7:30PM Broncos SL
16th 7:45PM Giants SL
30th 7:45PM Saints SL
September
8th 3:30PM Hull FC SL
13th 7:45PM Warriors SL
December
30th 1:30PM Rovers FR

Tigers 56 - 0 Rovers


A home side littered with youngsters and fringe players completed a professional job in the festive fixture, with a number of them making claims for future first team action.

The Tigers wasted little time in stamping their authority on the game, scoring inside the first five minutes via Kieran Gill, after some smart handling from Jake Sweeting and Joe Wardle.

After the initial assault on their line, Featherstone eased their way into the contest in the following fifteen minutes. However, the Rovers showed little in terms of a tangible attacking threat. Therefore, it was inevitable that the hosts would also bag the second score of the afternoon.

It came via familiar means, with Gill going in at the corner thanks to a one-handed offload, this time from Tuoyo Egodo.

Then, five minutes later, Gill completed a wonderful first half hat-trick. The set started with an outstanding take from the winger on his own goal line, and ended with him stretching over the whitewash, after benefitting from a Wardle break down the left flank.

The first half was playing out as you would expect an early pre-season friendly would but, with a few minutes remaining of the opening 40, the Mend-A-Hose Jungle were reminded of the little love lost between the Tigers and their local rivals.

A scuffle broke out in the middle of the park which saw a pair of players sent to the sin bin. The identity of the Rovers player surprised few, as Ryan Bailey made the short walk to the sheds. Youngster Robbie Storey saw yellow for the Tigers, after standing his ground against the often-feared veteran prop.

With 24 players on the paddock, Castleford took advantage of the space as time expired, scoring their fourth try of the afternoon through James Clare. Centre Greg Minikin was instrumental in the build-up, feeding his winger with a beautiful flick pass.

Much like the first, the second period began with a quick try from the Tigers as they extended their advantage. This time it was Lewis Carr who – after a prolific 2018 with the Tigers academy – struck just two minutes into his first team debut.

Then, swiftly after, it was Minkin’s turn to wrestles his way over the whitewash, further adding to Featherstone’s woes.

As time progressed, the Tigers’ line-up became ever younger, but it did little to affect the quality that Castleford were serving up.

Brad Jinks was impressive in the hooker role, and it was his quick thinking that earned the Tigers a penalty that led to the hosts’ next score. With the Rovers outmatched, all it took was some quick hands to the right edge to provide Clare with his second of the afternoon.

The demolition continued as we entered the final quarter of the contest. Egodo continuously proved that he was too big and too fast for his opposite numbers to deal with, making it very easy for Carr to secure his brace.

With time beginning to run down, the Tigers remained on the offensive. Aston remained imperious, booting a 40/20 out of nowhere. No points came from that proceeding set, but Castleford didn’t have to wait too long as Jake Sweeting scooped up a loose ball and raced 80 yards to the line.

Soon after, the 50 came up for the Tigers as Calum Turner got in on the act, stepping his way past a number of would-be tacklers close to the whitewash.

There was just time at the death for Carr to dive over in the corner, securing his hat-trick.

That proved to be the final score of the afternoon, much to the relief of the visiting Featherstone supporters.

All-in-all, a productive run-out for the Tigers, and one that puts them in good stead ahead of the rest of pre-season and the 2019 campaign ahead.

Full Time: Castleford Tigers 56-0 Featherstone Rovers

 

Castleford Tigers

Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Egodo, Gill, Aston, Sweeting, Cook, Jinks, Clark, Wardle, Storey, Summers

Interchange

Turner, Fella, Carr, Hall, Graham, Dobson, Doyle

Tries: Gill (3), Clare (2), Carr (3), Minikin, Sweeting, Turner

Conversions: Aston (5/11)

Featherstone Rovers

Hartley, Taylor, Hallett, Hardcastle, McDaniel, Tansey, Punchard, Cooper, Maskill, Darly, Day, Harrison, Lockwood

Interchange

Beckett, Bailey, French, Hawkins, Richardson, Cranswick, Waite-Pullen

Tries:

Conversions:

 

Attendance: 3,098

Golden Gamble: 15902

GMB Man of the Match: Calum Turner

*Match report by Ross Williams

*Photo courtesy of Simon Hall