Castleford Tigers vs Leigh Leopards, Betfred Super League

Recap

Surprise package Leigh kept up the pressure on Super League leaders Catalans with their ninth win in 10 games.

Josh Charnley and Lachlan Lam scored two tries each as the Leopards held off struggling Castleford.

Tigers’ defeat leaves them looking over their shoulders at bottom club Wakefield, who shocked Wigan on Friday.

Gareth Widdop and Elliot Wallis scored in a first-half revival but Cas’s poor defence cost them after the break.

Tigers coach Andy Last had warned his team they were “playing for their livelihoods” and this defeat leaves them just two points clear of the relegation spot.

They began strongly but Leigh showed they can defend as well as being a slick attacking unit.

After weathering the early storm the Lancashire side scored three tries in five minutes to stun the crowd at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle.

Papua New Guinea international Lachlan Lam was again the inspiration, sending Tom Amone over for the opener and then driving over the line himself after smart work from Gareth O’Brien.

With Tom Briscoe sprinting past Wallis for the third Leigh try, and Ben Reynolds kicking all three conversions, the Leopards seemed to be in full control.

Cas made a game of it as Widdop scored his first Castleford try from a precise Riley Dean kick, and then Wallis went over in the corner following brilliant work by Kenny Edwards to cut the gap to one score.

With the home fans primed for the fightback to continue after the break, Leigh crushed that hope as Cas conceded a six-again in the opening minutes and Lam sent Charnley over.

Reynolds’ sliced kick and Widdop’s looping pass to set up Wallis’ second try again cut the margin to six, but Leigh then stepped on the accelerator.

O’Brien sent Charnley over in the corner for his second, a try that takes him top of the Super League try-scoring chart, and then Lam cut through the defence to put the game beyond Cas.

Castleford coach Andy Last told BBC Radio Leeds:

“We’re in this position because elements of our performance haven’t been good enough, and aspects of some of the individuals who have gone out and played haven’t found their best form.

“We went into this game with a really positive mindset. There was a good vibe and energy about the place. It’s my job to get that vibe and energy back into the place, starting tomorrow.

“We’ll have a good look at it in review and then you have to bounce back into work on Monday.

“We’re the ones that have put ourselves in this position so we have to get out of it. We’ll go to Hull FC with all guns blazing on Saturday week.

“There are nine games to go so we are right in it. We have to focus on what we can do better and not look too much at anyone else.”

Leigh Leopards boss Adrian Lam told BBC Radio Manchester:

“I’m really proud. This is a difficult place to come and they [Castleford] would have been emotionally attached to a home performance in regards to where they sit in the table so it was always going to be a massive challenge.

“We got off to a flying start. I thought we allowed them to come back into the game with a few errors and four or five penalties and six-agains in a row and put ourselves under pressure before half-time.

“It was a great second half. It’s a pretty big win and now we’re second in the table, which is good.”

Castleford: Widdop, Faraimo, Broadbent, Turner, Wallis, Dean, Miller, Watts, Johnstone, Griffin, Edwards, A Mellor, Westerman.

Interchanges: Sutcliffe, Mustapha, Robb, Hall.

Leigh: O’Brien, Charnley, Leutele, Hardaker, Briscoe, Reynolds, Lam, Amone, Ipape, Nakubuwai, Chamberlain, Holmes, Asiata.

Interchanges: Wilde, Davis, Hughes, J Mellor.

Referee: Liam Moore.

Venue

The Mend-A-Hose Jungle

Details

Date Time League
July 7, 2023 8:00 pm Super League

Results

TeamPointsOutcome
Castleford Tigers16Loss
Leigh Leopards34Win
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