CASTLEFORD coach Terry Matterson (pictured) praised his side’s magnificent defence after the Tigers booked a Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final against Leeds Rhinos by beating Huddersfield Giants 22-18 on Sunday.
The Tigers gave themselves a massive boost ahead of tomorrow’s Super League licensing announcement by reaching the last four, avenging their quarterfinal defeat against Huddersfield two years ago.
Both sides scored four tries but Castleford’s Kirk Dixon kicked three conversions compared to just one by ex-Tigers half-back Danny Brough.
Dixon also scored a try and set up another for Ryan Hudson.
Jordan Thompson and skipper Danny Orr were Castleford’s other try scorers.
Matterson, who is leaving Castleford at the end of this season after six years at the helm, said: “Defensively it was an outstanding performance and that’s how we have to be against these sides.
“We held our nerve and that’s a a good way to win at the end.
“We got to the quarter-finals a couple of years ago and we felt we let that opportunity go.
“One to 17, I couldn’t be any happier. We did some things wrong but our reaction to it was great.
“It just looked like it was going to get away from us - similar to two years ago at Huddersfield - but we’re a bit stronger at the moment, we held our nerve and I’m over the moon.”
It is the first time the Tigers have reached the semi-finals since 2002 when they lost 20-10 to Wigan.