Modest match winner Jamie Ellis has played down his part in Castleford Tigers’ dramatic 19-18 win over Wigan Warriors (writes Tony Harber).
Half-back Ellis landed the last minute drop-goal to seal a memorable victory over Tigers’ rivals, but paid tribute to his team-mates for giving him the chance to come up with the crucial one-pointer.
“I was just hoping it goes over to be honest as obviously I’d missed the two beforehand so there was a bit of relief that it did go over,” Ellis told the Express.
“I should have got the first one. I hit it pretty close but it just went to the right. The second was probably a bit too far out and I maybe shouldn’t have done that and given away a seven tackle set like I did.
“I’ll learn from that and luckily the lads there saved me when they charged down their drop- goal and I got another chance to slot one over.
“It was a great feeling knowing it could be the winning point. There was a minute left to go and I knew get this ball back from kick-off and we’ve won the game. I was buzzing with it. I was tired at the same time as it was a tough game!”
Ellis reckoned the Tigers were good value for their win against Wigan.
He said: “First half we just gave away the ball too easily and they got a few sloppy tries from us really, but we were only 12-4 down at half-time and knew we were still in the game.
“We knew if we played better second half and threw it about a bit more while completing our sets we’d be in with a good shout to win. We bombed a few tries as well to be fair so it shouldn’t have been down to those closing seconds like that.
“People off the bench gave us a massive lift. Mitch Clark, James Green, Gadwin they all stepped up and played really well. It’s good to see when forwards are going like that. It’s a big game for them and big game for the club to win and we were desperate to get two points.”
Ellis paid tribute to the fans who roared the players on in the second half after feeling aggrieved at decisions made by referee James Child.
He said: “They always get behind us and support us well and there’s a lot of fans going to France this week. It’s really good to see.
“You are always going to get decisions against you. You just have to get on with it. Like when I missed those drop goals you just have to get your head down and go again.”
Ellis, who returned to the side after a back injury, is enjoying his second spell at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle:
“I loved it here before I left to be honest. I went to Huddersfield and Hull KR, but I’m glad to be back. Same people, same faces so I slotted in really good with the lads and I am really enjoying it.
“Cas have been playing really well the years I’ve not been here and I watched them as a fan last year. I was on holiday at the time watching the Grand Final and I was just wishing I’d play there.
“I got a chance to come back here and hopefully this year we can get to another Grand Final and win something.”
On his own form, Ellis added: “I thought I had a good game at Hull KR, but then I got my back injury.
“But I came back the other day and I was a bit patchy in the game against Wigan, but your first game back is always like that. Hopefully I can get some consistency now and kick on from here.”