Castleford Tigers got their 2019 Super League season off to the best of starts when they played host to Challenge Cup holders Catalans Dragons coming away with a 20-4 victory.
Paul McShane put in a man of the match performance alongside a brace of tries from winger Greg Eden as the Tigers came away with the win in their opening Super League match.
The opening ten minutes of the game were uneventful, both sides getting to used to each other, but Catalans’ Lewis Tierney had the best chance to score but a great defensive effort from Greg Minikin kept him out.
Castleford grabbed the first four points of the tie, marching quickly upfield with Paul McShane coming in from dummy half and finding a slight gap in the Dragons defence.
However, the Dragons defence kept up, denying the Tigers multiple times. Discipline was an issue for Steve McNamara’s side as they gave away a penalty which McShane kicked to make it 8-0 to Castleford.
Peter Matu’utia and Michael Shenton set Greg Eden up for a try moments later and it was no surprise to see the winger touch down on his 50th Castleford appearance
Coming out for the second half, the Tigers continued to put on a very good defensive performance with McShane kicking a further penalty to add salt to the Dragons’ wounds.
The visitors did not give up though as they forced the Tigers into submission when Tierney went over into the corner, but Sam Tomkins failed with the boot. This created moments of tension around the ground but Daryl Powell’s side killed any hope for the Challenge Cup holders when Eden went over for his second of the game.
McShane continues fine run of form
Tigers hooker Paul McShane continued his fine form from last season against Catalans, scoring a try and kicking a total of four goals.
Dragons defence isn’t all that bad
Despite conceding twenty points, the Dragons defence stayed strong throughout the 80 minutes, something they have often lacked. If it wasn’t for the effort, it could have been a lot worse for McNamara’s side.
Tigers show signs of improvements
This scoreline isn’t usually seen when these two sides face each other as they often end up being high scoring games. Castleford sorted out what they needed to from the end of last season, bringing the ‘Classy Cas’ style of play back to the Mend A Hose Jungle.
Tomkins: great buy for Catalans
Despite not getting on the scoresheet, new recruit Sam Tomkins showed attributes that indicates why exactly he is regarded as one of the best fullbacks in the competition. He will be a vital component for the Dragons this year.
Tries: McShane, Eden (2)
Goals: McShane 4/5
Drop Goals: N/A
Catalans Dragons 4
Goals: Tomkins 0/1
Drop Goals: N/A
Castleford: Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Rankin, Watts, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey.
Interchanges: Milner, Moors, Foster, Cook.
Catalans: Tomkins, Mead, Langi, Williame, Tierney, Gigot, Smith, Simon, Da Costa, Moa, Edwards, Garcia, Casty.
Interchanges: Bousquet, Whitley, Goudemand, Baitieri.