Tigers start with Wolfpack win
Posted: Sunday 2nd February 2020 - 8:23 PM
Castleford got their 2020 Betfred Super League campaign up and running with a 28-10 victory over Toronto.
The match was played in front of a sold-out crowd at Emerald Headingley Stadium with the Tigers overcoming the absence of several senior players to register a comfortable win in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Toronto included ex-All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams in their line up for the first time, the forward coming on as a substitute midway through a first half that the Canadian side began brightly in their first match in the top flight following promotion at the end of last season.
The Wolfpack took an early lead as winger Liam Kay opened the scoring in the fourth minute but the rest of the half largely belonged to the Tigers who looked back to their fluent best with ball in hand. Greg Eden responded almost immediately to give Cas the lead as he picked up a loose ball inside his own 20 and showed his pace by racing up the touchline for a superb winger’s try, Danny Richardson converting from in front of the posts.
Daryl Powell was forced to further shuffle his pack midway through the first half when a clash of heads between Adam Milner and George Griffin forced both players from the field for concussion assessments. However, the Fords reorganised superbly, Grant Millington moving out to the left edge to cover the gap in the back row and the forward was the next man to score after Daniel Smith’s offload had sent Jake Trueman into a gap. His quick-play-the-ball then gave Richardson time to organise the next play and he sent Millington through a gap out wide.
Cas were looking fluent in attack by this stage and the third and fourth tries came in quick succession before half-time. Milner was the next over within a minute of re-entering the field after passing his concussion assessment as he pounced on Jordan Rankin’s grubber following another arching break from Richardson down the right. Rankin then got his second assist of the afternoon two minutes later when he put Michael Shenton through a hole in the Wolfpack defence for the captain’s 150th try in Cas colours following strong build-up play from Paul McShane and Trueman.
Richardson then notched a penalty on the stroke of half time to register his third goal of the half to put Powell’s men in a commanding position with a 22-4 lead following a strong opening 40 minutes.
The Fords started the second half much more brightly than they had the first and almost registered another score when Cheyse Blair hit a short ball from Richardson only to be held up over the line. Cas persevered though and tried a similar play two tackles later and this time Mata’utia burst through the tacklers for another try.
Cas continued to pile on the pressure as Trueman took a great offload from Hepi and burst through the middle but his ambitious pass back on the inside to Nathan Massey was called forward as the chance came and went before Toronto showed their fighting spirit as Hakim Miloudi intercepted a pass from Rankin to get one back against the run of play.
In truth, the intensity petered out as the game wore on with Powell’s men struggling to maintain their fluency as several players were forced into positional changes, with Richardson pulling an attempted drop goal wide as Cas remained content to close things out.
Full Time: Toronto Wolfpack 10-28 Castleford Tigers
Wallace, Kay, Miloudi, Leutele, Russell, Mellor, McCrone, Sidlow, Ackers, Mullally, Dixon, Olbison, Wilkin
Springer, Singleton, Cunningham, Williams
Tries: Kay, Miloudi,
Conversions: Wallace (1/2)
Rankin, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Millington, Griffin, Blair, Milner
Massey, Smith, O’Neill, Hepi
Tries: Eden, Millington, Milner, Shenton, Mata’utia
Conversions: Richardson (3/5)
Penalty: Richardson (1/1)
*Match report by Matt Holden
**Photography by Melanie Allatt Photography
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