Castleford Tigers suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the Salford Red Devils, with a final score of 10-42 in favour of the visitors. The match, held at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle, saw the Tigers struggle to keep up with the Red Devils’ relentless attack throughout the game.
The Tigers got off to a promising start, courtesy of Marc Sneyd’s penalty kick early on, which allowed them to make significant progress up the field. However, a resilient defensive line from Salford put pressure on Jacob Miller, resulting in a batted-down ball that gave Castleford another opportunity to attack. The Tigers capitalised on this advantage when Joe Westerman was on the receiving end of a late hit, earning them another penalty.
Despite Castleford’s initial momentum, their excessive offloading led to a turnover, allowing Salford to gain possession. The Red Devils took advantage of the situation, earning a penalty that enabled Sneyd to kick the ball up the field. Salford came close to scoring on their first set in the Tigers’ half, but Will Tate’s safe catch from a high kick denied them the opportunity.
Castleford’s first real chance of the game came when Jordan Turner made a line break, offering the Tigers a glimmer of hope. A well-executed grubber kick through the line nearly fell into Tate’s hands, but unfortunately, the ball went dead. Another error from Salford gave Castleford possession, yet the Red Devils managed to escape unscathed.
Confusion under a high ball from Sneyd provided an opening for Rhys Williams, who managed to retrieve the ball and score the first try of the day for Salford. Sneyd successfully converted the try, putting the Red Devils ahead by six points.
The Tigers swiftly retaliated when Jason Qareqare intercepted a loose ball, sprinting over into the corner for a try. However, Gareth Widdop’s conversion attempt missed the mark, leaving Castleford four points behind.
Sneyd’s spiraling kick caused trouble once again, resulting in an error from Widdop and a turnover in possession. Seizing the opportunity, Salford crashed over the try line for their second of the day, courtesy of Chris Atkin, extending their lead to 12-4.
Moments later, a display of improvisational rugby allowed Deon Cross to break through the line and evade Miller’s defence, scoring another try for the Red Devils.
Salford continued their onslaught when a well-executed move to the right edge involving Croft and Brierley found Ken Sio, who dove over in the corner, further widening Salford’s lead.
Castleford had another chance to slip through their fingers when a 70-meter break from Tate put them in a dangerous position. However, a failed offload from Turner resulted in the ball going into touch.
Shortly after, Fonua was forced to leave the field for a Head Injury Assessment following a collision with Salford’s Tim Lafai. Castleford received another set of six tackles due to a penalty against Salford, providing them with a crucial opportunity. Unfortunately, a short pass to Westerman was dropped in contact, allowing the Red Devils to regain possession.
Qareqare collected a challenging high kick from Sneyd in the corner, but his subsequent play-the-ball error squandered the Tigers’ possession. Salford attempted to barge over for another try but fell short of the line due to a dropped short pass.
As the halftime hooter sounded, Cain Robb’s creative chip found Kenny Edwards, who crashed over next to the posts for Salford. Widdop successfully converted the try, ending the first half with a score of 10-24 in Salford’s favour.
The second half commenced with Widdop restarting the contest. An early error from Jack Ormondroyd gifted possession back to Castleford, who came close to scoring but were penalised by referee Jack Smith for crossing.
Salford extended their lead further when Lafai skillfully evaded the Tigers’ defenders, providing a flick pass to winger Rhys Williams, who finished off the move by scoring in the corner.
Castleford’s attacking efforts continued to be thwarted when Tate retrieved the ball from a short kick-off, and although the Tigers played the ball to the left, Tate’s subsequent dive for the corner was ruled out of play.
The Tigers suffered another setback when Sio capitalised on a Castleford attack, intercepting the ball and rushing over 40 meters to score for Salford, pushing their lead to 24 points.
Salford’s dominance persisted as they once again exploited the left edge, with Williams providing an inside pass to Lafai, who crashed over for another try.
Castleford compounded their own troubles when Qareqare failed to secure a kick from Croft, resulting in Salford gaining head and feed. Despite Salford’s efforts to score, a looping pass from Sneyd was tipped by Tate, preventing a further try.
Late in the second half, Joe Westerman made way for Aaron Willis, a young player making his Super League debut for the Tigers.
The teams went set for set in the final minutes before a crucial error from Miller handed possession to Salford just 40 meters out from Castleford’s line.
Salford’s attack proved too strong to resist on this occasion, with an overload on the left creating an opportunity for Sam Stone to dive over on the left-hand side and score another try.
The last possession of the match belonged to Castleford, but a stray pass from Jack Broadbent hit the ground as the final hooter sounded.
The full-time score stood at Castleford Tigers 10, Salford Red Devils 42, with the Red Devils securing a commanding victory over their opponents. The Tigers will need to regroup and analyse their performance to bounce back from this defeat in their future matches.