Castleford Tigers are still looking for their first Super League win of the season after being sunk by a late drop goal in Saturday’s 13-12 defeat against Catalan Dragons in Perpignan.
The Tigers, still smarting from their opening day home defeat against Wakefield, led 6-0 at half-time and were level at 12-12 with three minutes left but Catalan snatched their first win of the campaign with Scott Dureau’s one-pointer.
Castleford battled superbly in an often bad-tempered clash in which three players were sin-binned.
Tigers winger Denny Solomona had two efforts ruled out including one in the first-half that looked a perfectly good try.
Both sides found it difficult to hold onto the ball in an error ridden start to a game played in wet conditions.
The Tigers dominated territorially early on with the aid of four successive penalties.
Their pressure paid off in the 11th minute when debutant Ben Roberts put on a superbly judged kick to the corner for Justin Carney to score and Luke Gale added a touchline conversion.
Catalan’s Zeb Taia was held up over the line before the Tigers were unlucky not to increase their lead in the 23rd minute when Solomona made a great catch from Gale’s towering kick but the effort was controversially ruled out by the video referee for offside.
The Tigers did well to survive a spell of sustained Catalan pressure as the home outfit were awarded a string of penalties.
Eloi Pelissier was held up over the line for the French side in an increasingly ill-tempered game marred by several punch ups.
Catalan’s Pelissier and Oliver Elima and Castleford’s Jake Webster were sin-binned after a 33rd minute flare up. The incident was also put on report by referee Jamie Child.
Dureau was off target with a penalty shot on the stroke of half-time as the Tigers held on to their 6-0 lead.
Solomona had another effort ruled out early in the second-half and Catalan’s Dureau then had a touchdown disallowed for a foot in touch as he dived in at the corner.
While Catalan were still down to 11 men, they levelled in the 46th minute when Morgan Escare scored from a neat kick by Dureau who added the conversion.
Carney was then penalised for a high tackle on Escare and Dureau kicked the goal to edge Catalan ahead for the first time.
The Tigers tried hard to turn the game round but they fell further behind in the 64th minute.
Solomona’s try-saving denied Escare a second try but Elliott Whitehead scored from the next play to put the Dragons 12-6 ahead.
The Dragons had a chance to seal victorty when Ben Pomeroy intercepted a pass by Junior Moors but they messed it up badly and were made to pay a minute later when Liam Finn and Carney made the opening for Jordan Tansey to cross and Gale converted to square msattrers.#
Three minurtes later, the Dragons regained the lead with Dureau’s drop goal and that’s the way in stayed.
Carney made a great run out of defence in closing stages but the Tigers wasted an excellent attacking position when Scott Moore knocked on at acting half.
Catalan Dragons: Escare; Oldfield, Pomeroy, Tonga, Duport; Bosc, Dureau; Lima, Henderson, Anderson,Taia, Whitehead, Mounis. Subs: Elima, Pelissier, Garcia, Baitieri.
Castleford Tigers: Tansey, Solomona, Channing, Shenton, Carney, Roberts, Gale, Lynch, Moore, Millington, Holmes, Moors, Massey. Subs: Webster, Wheeldon, Finn, Crossley.