Castleford suffer hammering in France

Dean Widders was a try scorer in Castleford's defeat in France on Saturday.
Dean Widders was a try scorer in Castleford's defeat in France on Saturday.

CASTLEFORD Tigers suffered a 10-try drubbing in Saturday’s Super League game against in-form Catalan Dragons in the south of France.

The Tigers trailed 26-10 at half-time and never looked like turning the game round in the second-half as they slumped to a 54-20 defeat.

Steve Menzies, Lopini Paea, Damien Blanch, Scott Dureau and Clint Greenshields all crossed for the hoe side in the Stade Gilbert Brutus in the opening 40 minutes.

Dureau added three conversions for the Dragons, with Castleford’s only response coming from tries by Richard Owen and Dean Widders and a Kirk Dixon goal.

Jason Baitieri, Vaccari (two), Baile and Paea added further tries to the Catalan cause after the interval, with late scores from Richie Mathers and Owen proving scant consolation for the visitors.

The Dragons could have scored as early as the fourth minute through Jean-Philippe Baile but a minute later Menzies went over on the right following good work from Ian Henderson, Dureau and David Ferriol.

Dureau could not add the extras and the Tigers hit back when a smart move involving Danny Orr, Ryan McGoldrick, Rangi Chase and Jordan Thompson saw Richard Owen squeeze in at the left corner.

Dixon added the goal to give the Tigers the lead, but that was as good as it got for the visitors as the Dragons scored three tries in four minutes to go clear.

In the 19th minute, the home side re-took the lead through Paea following good work by Dureau and Sa. Dureau goaled to extend the lead to 10-6.

The Tigers could not get a touch of the ball over the next five minutes, and the Dragons took advantage by scoring two further tries.

The first from the re-start was an early contender for try of the season as Paea fed Daryl Millard, who handed the ball on to Frederic Vaccari.

He was supported by Greenshields, who in turn handed the ball onto Menzies. Menzies created space for Baile to feed Blanch, who touched down in the corner. Dureau’s conversion attempt went over off the post.

The second came when a Dureau kick was charged down by Castleford but collected by Paea.

He surged forward then fed an inside pass to Dureau, who showed superb footwork and pace to beat Mathers and Owen to score.

Dureau converted his own try to increase the lead to 22-6.

With six minutes remaining of the first half, Greenshields managed to roll out of a Widders tackle to score. Dureau just failed this time with his conversion attempt.

But Widders made amends for his error moments later when he went over in the right corner, taking Dureau over with him for good measure. Dixon missed the conversion to leave the Tigers trailing 26-10.

It got no better for the Tigers after the break when first Jason Baitieri, then Vaccari and then Baile all went over inside the first 10 minutes of the half.

With two Dureau goals added, the lead was extended to 42-10.

In the final 30 minutes there was time for second tries for Paea, who charged on to a Dureau pass, and Vaccari after more superb play from Millard, with Dureau converting both.

Consolations efforts for Castleford from Mathers, a second for Owen and one further conversion from Dixon only narrowed the gap but could not take the shine off a superb Dragons performance.