Tigers take victory in controversial clash

Richard Owen celebrates a try on his comeback to the Castleford Tigers first team at Hull. Picture: IAN HARBER
Richard Owen celebrates a try on his comeback to the Castleford Tigers first team at Hull. Picture: IAN HARBER
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CASTLEFORD Tigers coach Terry Matterson was pleased with the way his side came through a close contest at Hull on Friday night.

Without being at their best in a stop-start contest containing a high penalty count, the Tigers showed admirable spirit to make it six wins from seven Super League matches in 2011.

Wille Isa raced over for two tries superbly created by half-backs Danny Orr and Rangi Chase and Richard Owen also scored on his return to the first team while Hull-born winger Kirk Dixon kicked four goals, including a match-winning penalty 11 minutes from time.

Hull replied with tries by Kirk Yeaman, Craig Fitzgibbon and Danny Tickle, who also added two goals with one penalty kicked after the first half hooter by former Cas man Joe Westerman.

Much of the talk afterwards centred on the performance and controversial decisions of referee James Child, who sent off Sean Long and awarded three yellow cards, but Matterson was just pleased to come away with the win.

He said: “We’ve had the referee twice and there were two very similar performances. There were 37 penalties in the first one and 27 this time. We’re frustrated, but we got the two points.

“It doesn’t hide that a potentially good game of rugby league between two good sides just never flowed and got any rhythm.

“We didn’t play well, but we got the two points and we didn’t quite do that in our last away game at Bradford.

“It was just too stop-start. I didn’t think our discipline was that bad and we didn’t play any different to how we’ve played in the last six weeks.

“I can see Richard’s (Agar) frustrations, but the referee reffed the same for both sides.”

Hull coach Richard Agar did not disguise his anger at the referee.

He said: “Two teams came to have a go, the effort was great. Castleford defended really well and we defended well for most parts, but the referee set his stall out early and kept it up.

“Both teams were up for it and you saw the way they started. There was a good tempo to the game, but a good spectacle was completely ruined by one bloke.

“He’ll be backing up in Super League and we’ll get a sheet round telling us how all his decisions have been the right ones.

“But I’ve got seasoned and well regarded test players coming off there shaking their heads in disbelief at what they’ve just been through over 80 minutes.

“I didn’t think we played bad, but it was just made too difficult for us. It was made difficult for both sides and there was never any flow to the game.”

For more on the game, see Thursday’s edition of the Pontefract & Castleford Express.