THE manner of Castleford Tigers’ fifth round Carnegie Challenge Cup tie win over Wakefield Wildcats will stand the team in good stead if they ever have to go through extra-time again, according to head coach Terry Matterson.
It was uncharted territory as local rivals Tigers and Wildcats slugged it out for a further ten minutes on top of the normal 80 with neither side able to come up with the “golden” point until Kirk Dixon landed a penalty to clinch a quarter-final place for Castleford.
No less than seven drop goal attempts failed to break the deadlock - three by Cas and four by their hosts - in a frantic search for a winner, but the dramatic finale proved an exciting way to decide a close contest and would provide a valuable lesson for the Tigers.
When asked if he would be instigating drop goal practice for his players in training this week, Cas boss Matterson said: “It’s not the actual drop kicks we need to work on, it’s where we take them from and how you set it up.
“We really shouldn’t have been attempting them from 40 and 50 metres out in those windy conditions.
“What we needed to do was play a lot smarter and puts kicks down field and got into better position for it.
“We’ve kicked plenty of field goals in the past, but our composure needed to be a little bit better. There was no hurry to have a field goal every turn.”
The novelty of the “golden” point extra-time contributed to both sides not quite knowing how to handle it, but the thrilling nature of it gave a shot in the arm to the famous competition.
Matterson added: “I knew before the game it was golden point, but I don’t think the players knew and switching to that made it difficult to go into a situation they’ve never been in before.
“That we came through it stands to be good for us if we have to play golden point extra-time again down the track in the Challenge Cup. “We had lots of opportunities to win it in 80 minutes if our cutting edge had been better, but It was probably what the game needed and really gave the Challenge Cup a boost. All the drama of being such a close game and golden point made it exciting for everyone watching.”