Castleford produced a stellar seven-try performance to record their biggest ever win over Catalans and extend the French side’s losing run away from home to five games.
Among the seven tries, Oliver Holmes and Paul McShane clinched a brace each and Joe Wardle scored his first try for the club.
Catalans came into the fixture off the back of a home win against Huddersfield Giants and a respectable 23-32 loss in Perpignan against Wigan, while Castleford had lost only once since their opening round defeat to St Helens. In addition, Castleford had won the last four meetings between the sides.
From the off, the result never looked in doubt for the Tigers with Paul McShane crossing for his first of the game just fifteen minutes in.
Michael Shenton scored just five minutes later to extend the lead to 10 points and Luke Gale remained seamless off the tee to make it 12-0 with just over twenty minutes played.
Catalans struggled to stop the rot with Oliver Holmes crossing in the 24th minute and the french side later conceded a drop goal on the stroke of half-time to go in 19-0 down.
The Dragons’ fortunes remained unchanged in the second period with another two tries from Castleford breaching Super League’s second worst defence within ten minutes of the second half.
Gale continued his perfect record from the tee and Castleford led 31-0. Catalans managed to somewhat stem the flow of tries, only conceding two from Joe Wardle and Oliver Holmes respectively in the remainder of the second half to leave the home side 41 points to the good on the final whistle.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Gale’s class is key for Castleford
Luke Gale proved pivotal on his return from injury and looked to be straight back into the groove with well measured kicks for try assists and a consistent performance kicking for points.
Having two games in hand and sitting two wins off top spot, Gale looks all set to guide Castleford to another Grand Final challenge at the back end of the season.
Catalans struggles hit an all time low
Catalans have been held scoreless for the second time this season and sit at the bottom of the table just under half way into the campaign.
After some good off-season acquisitions, things have gone from bad to worse for Catalans and the French side now look as though they’ll almost certainly be facing their rivals from Toulouse in the middle 8s at the back end of the season.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers)
The Castleford and England half-back marked his comeback from injury with a stellar performance characterised by a near perfect day with the boot.
Gale laid on all three first half tries with kicks and slotted a drop goal late on. His kicking game continued to be pivotal in the second half and Gale ended with a near perfect 6 from 7 off the kicking tee too.
Castleford Tigers 41
Tries: Clare, Holmes (2), McShane (2), Shenton, Wardle.
Goals: Gale (6/7)
Drop Goals: Gale
Catalans Dragons 0
Drop Goals: n/a
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