Sunday 24th February 2013, 15:30 - Round:4
|Jordan Thompson, Michael Shenton, Kirk Dixon,||T||Vincent Duport, Louis Anderson, Damien Blanch,|
Jamie Ellis 2,
Thomas Bosc 2,
|Gareth O'Brien,||DG||Thomas Bosc,|
Attendance: 5,205 Official: J Child Venue: Wish Communications Stadium
Castleford Tigers could not end a forgettable week on a winning note but a drop goal from Gareth O’Brien rescued a point against Catalan Dragons at the Wish Communications Stadium.
The hosts, for whom chief executive Steve Ferres resigned due to differences with the club’s board, trailed on three occasions but battled back to lead 16-12 with 15 minutes remaining.
Damien Blanch’s try and a drop goal then put the Dragons ahead by a single point but O’Brien ensured the spoils would be shared with a one-pointer of his own from 20 yards.
The Tigers defeated Super League champions Leeds Rhinos in their last home game and made a decent start this afternoon although Grant Millington dropped the ball from Jamie Ellis’ offload at the crucial moment when it looked like he was clean through.
The visitors, still smarting from their first loss of the season at Warrington Wolves nine days ago, started to dominate proceedings thereafter but were time and again beaten back by a resilient Tigers defence.
Remi Casty and Mathias Pala were held up over the line, while hooker Ian Henderson thought he had opened the scoring after grounding the ball but was inches short of the whitewash.
Undeterred, the Dragons continued to exert relentless pressure and it seemed only a matter of time until they crossed.
That they had to wait until the 26th minute to get the first points of the game was the only surprise as decent passing along the left wing allowed Vincent Duport to cross in the corner, with Thomas Bosc converting.
To Castleford’s credit, substitute Jordan Thompson made an instant impact after coming on by picking a hole in the Dragons defence to cross under the posts with his first touch of the ball.
Ellis levelled the scores but his side could not go on from there and it was the Dragons who took a 12-6 half-time lead.
Louis Anderson latched on to a pass from Leon Pryce before shrugging off the challenge of Jordan Tansey to go over.
The start of the second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with the Dragons very much on the front foot but unable to find a gap in Castleford’s robust defence.
But while the difference was only one converted try, Ian Millward’s men were always likely to pose problems.
And the gap was reduced to just two points when Millington burst through into open space before passing to Michael Shenton, who held off the challenge of Steve Menzies to go over in the right corner.
Nathan Massey then looked to have put the Tigers ahead for the first time in the match when he profited from Daryl Millard's slip to touch down from Shenton's grubber. However, referee James Childs ruled Massey offside.
Castleford would not be denied and sensed a weakness down Catalan’s left-wing, with Weller Hauraki providing the initial break before Kirk Dixon went over.
Ellis added the extras to give the Tigers a 16-12 advantage heading into the final 15 minutes.
Predictably the Dragons immediately went on the offensive and Blanch, who scored a hat-trick when these two sides met in east Yorkshire last season, went over in the right corner.
Bosc and Tigers stand-off O’Brien traded drop goals to set up a thrilling finale and although both teams had chances to claim victory, they had to settle for a hard-earned point.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals
Forty Twenty: 1