Played: 23 Won: 10 Draw: 1 Lost: 12 For: 617 Agst: 640 Diff: -23 Pts: 21 DD: 0 Pos: 6th
Played: 30 Won: 15 Draw: 1 Lost: 14 For: 830 Agst: 808 Diff: 22 Pts: 31 DD: 0 Pos: 5th
Player of the year: Junior Moors
Following a strong season for the Castleford Tigers, there were a number of contenders for the Player of the Year accolade. An obvious choice would have been Denny Solomona. The winger enjoyed a spell bounding season for the Tigers, scoring a record-breaking 40 Super League tries in the process. However, recent off-field events surrounding his exit from the sport, has turned the Samoan international from a club hero into public enemy number one among Castleford supporters.
Others such as Luke Gale and Luke Dorn also could have taken the prize however, in the end, it was Junior Moors who impressed the most. The 30-year-old took home all the major honours during the club’s post-season awards ceremony including: Player of the Year, Fans’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the year.
In spite of a slow start to his Tigers career, the Prop enjoyed a terrific season in 2016. Moors gained just under 2,500 meters and also made 85 busted tackles, the most in his team.
What’s more, his relationship with the supporters was greatly enhanced after signing a two-year contract extension with the club, which will see him at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle until at least 2019.
Despite a number of ups and downs, Castleford Tigers enjoyed another solid season under head coach, Daryl Powell. The Tigers ended their campaign in fifth for a second successive year and many are predicting a successful 2017 for the West Yorkshire side.
The low point of Castleford’s season came early on in their campaign when numerous injuries to key players began to take their toll. A home 16-58 defeat to Hull KR was the team’s worst result of the season however, as quickly as players began flooding back into the first team, the faster Castleford’s rise became.
Notable victories (including a famous 52-12 victory over Leeds at Headingley, a 36-22 home win over Wigan and a memorable 34-14 comeback win over Warrington at the Magic Weekend) proved that at full strength, Castleford can stand toe to toe with anybody in the Super League.
Daryl Powell set to stay
Since taking over in 2013, Powell has transformed the club from Super League minnows into a force to be reckoned with. In his three years in charge, the 51-year-old has consistently finished in the top five plus, in 2014 he led the Tigers into a Challenge Cup Final.
With all that in mind, it is no surprise that Powell’s decision to sign a contract extension with the club could prove to be the most important signing the Castleford Tigers have made in years. The new deal will see the former England and Great Britain international at the club until 2022.
Addition of Hardaker
The 2015 Man of Steel, Zak Hardaker, has endured a tough year following turmoil in his personal life. However, the 25-year-old is now back in the Super League and is ready to once again compete after agreeing a one year loan deal with Castleford Tigers.
Hardaker made over 150 appearances for rival club Leeds Rhinos before heading to NRL’s Penrith Panthers on a loan deal in June. The full-back has proven to be one of the best in the business when at his best and will be a great addition to the Castleford Tigers squad in 2017.
Leeds Rhinos will not be able to recall Hardaker at any time during his spell at Castleford. More importantly for Tigers fans is the fact that the player has expressed interest in making this a permanent move.
The Denny Solomona Fiasco
It’s hard to look back at 2016 and not mention the situation surrounding Denny Solomona. The winger was in sensational form as he ripped defences apart with his incredible speed and elusive footwork. However, as the season drew to a close, concerns grew over the player’s future.
Fast forward a couple of months and Castleford Tigers are now planning legal action against the 23-year-old who walked out of the sport in order to join Rugby Union side, Sale Sharks. The entire fiasco has put the sport in the news for all the wrong reasons and questions are now being asked about the legitimacy of contracts in our game.
It is clear that the actions of Denny Solomona have had a profound knock-on effects not only at his former club but also the entire sport. As the fallout continues it will certainly be interesting to see how things play out in the next few weeks, months and possibly years.
2017 Ins and Outs
Larne Patrick (Huddersfield Giants)
Greg Eden (Brisbane Broncos)
Tuoyo Egodo (London Broncos)
Dan Igbinedion (Oxford RLFC)
Jesse Sene-Lefao (Cronulla Sharks)
Zak Hardaker (Leeds Rhinos)
Luke Dorn (Retirement)
Frankie Mariano (Featherstone Rovers)
Ryan Boyle (Halifax RLFC)