Tigers Fall In Boxing Day Clash
Posted: Tuesday 26th December 2017 - 3:01 PM
The traditional Boxing Day derby clash with Featherstone Rovers ended in a 32-16 defeat for Castleford Tigers, as preparations for 2018 got underway.
The Tigers’ first outing since Old Trafford may have ended with a loss, but there were plenty of positives to take away from the game, which saw the hosts put out a side littered with youngsters and new signings.
The Tigers got off to a near perfect start in the festive clash. New signing Mitch Clark made his grand entrance inside the opening few minutes, delivering a massive hit to put Castleford in possession.
Off the back of the field position, the hosts piled the pressure on Featherstone, and it soon told. Jamie Ellis, back for his second stint in black and amber, sold the entire defence with a dummy and went over to open the scoring. The half-back then converted his own try.
Rovers reacted well however, and before long they were on the board themselves. Following a botched kick-off from the Tigers, Featherstone spread the ball to the right edge, where Luke Briscoe touched down.
A former Tiger then came back to haunt Castleford, as prop Scott Wheeldon barged his way over the whitewash just a few minutes later, giving the visitors the lead.
Things settled down in the middle stages of the first half, as the two sides began battling for the advantage. Eventually, the Tigers started to come out on top and the scores were soon level.
Tuoyo Egodo, whose last appearance at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle saw him grab a hat-trick, came up with the score, wrestling his way over from close range.
Not unusual for a Boxing Day encounter, errors were aplenty from both sides, but the Tigers managed to keep hold of the ball long enough to score once more before the break. The try brought up Ellis’ brace, after some excellent work from Alex Foster in the build-up.
The second half began with a break and a try from Gale, but not the kind Tigers fans have come to expect. Rather than the England half-back, it was Featherstone’s Gareth Gale who grabbed the four points, bringing Rovers back on terms with the hosts once more.
Buoyed by that score, Rovers began piling on the pressure and before long they had their second try of the half via Connor Farrell, and a six-point lead.
At this point, the game was there for the taking for both sides, but Featherstone had the experience on the park, and it showed in the latter stages. Wheeldon bagged his second of the afternoon after beating Luke Cooper to a neat Keal Carlile kick.
Tempers threatened to flare as the half drew on, but major incident was thankfully avoided. Castleford did give away too many penalties however, and they were punished by the visitors. Centre Josh Hardcastle went over in the right corner with ten minutes to play to effectively put the result to bed.
Featherstone knocked on the door again late on, but the Tigers’ defence held firm to avoid the score line worsening. Regardless, the defeat was set in stone.
The Tigers continue their pre-season preparations in January, when the Mend-A-Hose Jungle will be treated to a repeat of the 2017 Super League Grand Final as Leeds Rhinos come to town.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 16-32 Featherstone Rovers
Clare, Hitchcox, Egodo, Foster, Storey, Ellis, Trueman, Green, O’Neill, Maher, Wardle, Holmes, Clark
Interchange: Aston, Sene-Lefao, Cook, Douglas, Ray, Turner, Render
Tries: Ellis (2), Egodo
Conversions: Ellis (2/3)
Thackery, Robinson, Gale, Hardcastle, Briscoe, Ridyard, Holmes, Wheeldon, Carlile, Cooper, Farrell, Davies, Lockwood
Interchange: Wildie, Mariano, Knowles, Brooks, Maskill
Tries: Briscoe, Wheeldon (2), Gale, Farrell, Hardcastle
Conversions: Ridyard (4/6)
Golden Gamble: 21450
GMB Union Man of the Match: Alex Foster