The Mend-A-Hose Jungle witnessed a one-sided affair as the Castleford Tigers faced a crushing defeat at the hands of the Salford Red Devils. The match ended with a final score of 10-42, leaving the home team and their fans disappointed.
The game kicked off with a penalty awarded to the Tigers, courtesy of Marc Sneyd. This early advantage allowed Castleford to make their way up the field. Despite a strong defensive line from Salford, a well-timed bat-down of the ball gave the Tigers the upper hand. The pressure continued when a late hit on Joe Westerman resulted in another penalty for Castleford.
However, an opportunity slipped from the Tigers’ grasp as an ill-fated offload landed in Salford’s possession. A subsequent penalty granted Sneyd the chance to kick the ball up the field. Salford made progress, venturing into the Tigers’ half, but Will Tate’s safe catch of a high kick thwarted their efforts.
Castleford’s first real opportunity came from a line break by Jordan Turner. A well-placed grubber through the defensive line seemed promising, but unfortunately, it ended up going dead. Another mistake from Salford handed possession back to the Tigers, but the Red Devils managed to escape unscathed.
The tides turned in Salford’s favour when confusion under a high ball from Sneyd allowed Rhys Williams to seize the opportunity and score the first try of the day. Sneyd successfully converted, putting the Red Devils ahead by six points.
The Tigers quickly responded when Jason Qareqare intercepted a loose ball and sprinted towards the corner for a try. However, Gareth Widdop’s conversion attempt went wide.
A spiralling kick from Sneyd caused trouble for Salford, and an error from Widdop presented them with an opportunity. Chris Atkin capitalised on the situation and crashed over for Salford’s second try, extending their lead to 12-4.
Moments later, a display of spontaneous rugby skills saw Deon Cross break through the defensive line, eluding Jacob Miller and scoring another try for the Red Devils.
Salford continued to dominate as they executed a move to the right edge, involving Croft and Brierley, which ultimately led to Ken Sio diving over in the corner, further extending their lead.
Castleford had their chances, including a 70-meter break from Will Tate, which put them in a dangerous position. However, a leftward shift in ball possession and an unfortunate offload from Turner resulted in the ball going out of play.
Fonua left the field temporarily for a Head Injury Assessment following a collision with Salford’s Tim Lafai. Castleford received another opportunity when Salford conceded a “six again” ruling, granting the Tigers a crucial field position. However, a short pass to Joe Westerman was dropped upon contact, gifting the Red Devils possession once again.
Qareqare secured a testing kick from Sneyd, but unfortunately, he dropped the ball during the play-the-ball, squandering possession. Salford attempted to barge over for another try, but a short pass fell short of the try-line.
As the halftime hooter sounded, Cain Robb’s inventive chip found Kenny Edwards, who crashed over for a try next to the posts. Widdop successfully converted, bringing the halftime score to 10-24 in favour of Salford.
The second half began with Widdop initiating the contest, and an early error from Jack Ormondroyd gifted Castleford the ball. The Tigers pressed forward, but referee Jack Smith penalised them for crossing, impeding their progress.
Salford continued to widen the gap as centre Lafai evaded the Tigers’ defenders, executing a brilliant skip pass to winger Rhys Williams, who finished off the move with a try in the corner.
Castleford persisted in their efforts, with Tate making a valiant retrieval of the ball from a short kick-off. The Tigers opted to play towards the left, and Tate dove for the corner, but the referee ruled him out of play.
The Tigers suffered another setback when Sio capitalised on a Castleford attack, intercepting the ball and racing 40 meters to score, further increasing the Red Devils’ lead to 24 points.
Salford quickly scored again as they shifted play to the left edge, with Williams providing an inside pass to Lafai, who crashed over for another try.
Castleford’s misfortunes continued when Qareqare dropped a kick from Croft, surrendering possession to Salford. Despite their best efforts, Salford couldn’t score, as a looping pass from Sneyd was tipped by Tate.
In the latter stages of the second half, Joe Westerman made way for youngster Aaron Willis, who made his Super League debut for the Tigers.
With five minutes left on the clock, both teams engaged in a set-for-set battle. However, an error from Miller granted Salford possession just 40 meters away from the Castleford try-line.
On this occasion, the Salford attack proved too strong, overwhelming the Tigers’ defence on the left side. Sam Stone dove over for a try, sealing the match for the Red Devils.
In the final possession of the game, Castleford had a chance to salvage some pride. However, a wayward pass from Jack Broadbent hit the ground as the final hooter echoed through the stadium, signalling the end of the game.
The Castleford Tigers will undoubtedly have much to reflect upon after this comprehensive defeat, while the Salford Red Devils will revel in their dominant performance, securing a convincing victory.