Challenge Cup winners Catalans received a rude awakening on their return to Super League action as Castleford hit them for six. Here’s our verdict…
Cas eased to a second successive Super 8s win, with Greg Eden leading the way with a brilliant hat-trick to lift themselves back above Warrington and into third place in the table.
Oliver Holmes scored after a classic defence-to-attack move after Michael Shenton and Jake Trueman also had crossed earlier in proceedings.
Luke Gale was also in fine form, kicking six goals on his return to action after four months out through injury.
Gale, Last season’s Man of Steel, had been missing with a fractured knee-cap, but showed his class by producing some glorious touches as Daryl Powell’s side celebrated their second big home win over Catalans this term, having also hammered the French club 41-0 back in April.
It was clear that Catalans suffered a hang over from their Wembley heroics last week, which was understandable seen as they were without four of their warriors that featured in last weekend’s sensational victory over Warrington.
Cas scored their only try through centre Brayden Wiliame, who was then sin-binned alongside Julian Bousquet for indiscipline. With them went any hopes of what would have been a truly remarkable comeback.
Castleford’s chase of a top-two finish is well and truly on as they find themselves back within three points of Wigan, who put in a scintillating performance to beat St. Helens on Friday night.
The Tigers also used the versatile Ben Roberts from the bench after 11 matches out with a dual injury and virtually guaranteed a top-four finish with the win.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Cas mean business
Cas dominated this game from the word go and should have scored more. Considering they were up against the best Catalans side for a decade, that is quite something. If Wigan slip up, even once, the Tigers will be ready to pounce.
Catalans’ season is all but over
This was a nothing game for Catalans, and it showed. They never really got going, but after such a gruelling triumph at Wembley last week, no one can blame them. Their fans will want to end the season on a high, however, so there should still be a little more grit and determination from the players between now and the curtain call.
Man of the Match – Greg Eden (Castleford Tigers)
The England international showed his true quality in the demolition of Catalans. He had the beating of his man from start to finish and could have crossed a further two times but for good Dragons defending.
With the season’s end in sight, Castelford have hit form at just the right time and you wouldn’t bet against them, especially not Eden, from producing the goods again next week in their search for second spot.
Castleford Tigers 36
Tries: Eden (3), Shenton, Trueman, Holmes
Goals: Gale (6)
Drop Goals: n/a
Catalans Dragons 4
Drop Goals: n/a
Castleford Tigers: Mata’utia, Clare, Wardle, Shenton, Eden; Trueman, Gale; Watts, McShane, Millington, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey
Interchanges: Roberts, Moors, Milner, Clark
Catalans Dragons: Mead, Duport, Langi, Wiliame, Tierney; Albert, Drinkwater; Belmas, Da Costa, Moa, Jullien, Garcia, Bird
Interchanges: Casty, Bousquet, Goudemand, Edwards
Referee: Greg Dolan