Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
In 2017 the Castleford Tigers came so close to fulfilling a Cinderella story when they dominated the Super League regular season and claimed the League Leaders Shield.
Unfortunately for the Tigers they were defeated by a Leeds Rhinos team brimming with club legends that outclassed them on Grand Final day.
Following the defeat, Castleford were still considered contenders heading into 2018 due to just how dominant they were the season prior and while they did finish in the final four the Tigers were beaten by eventual champions the Wigan Warriors in the Grand Final qualifier.
Since then Castleford has failed to finish in the top six and have therefore not played in the finals in almost four years.
Not a whole lot seems to be changing at the club as they currently sit in sixth place with a negative win/loss record.
Granted, Castleford is currently in the top half of the table but are only in sixth place on points difference as every team from seventh to tenth are within two wins of the Tigers.
In their most recent outing Castleford were defeated by one of the teams in that seventh to tenth bracket as ninth-placed Salford City 30-14.
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) May 22, 2022
Head coach Lee Radford blasted the Tigers inconsistency when speaking to Sky Sports after the game.
“The level of inconsistency is frustrating,” said Radford.
“Where we sit in the league table is the reason for that and you have to show more consistency.
“We had a short turnaround leading into this one and a long one leading into the last one, so this week we haven’t had much opportunity on the field and unfortunately mentally we haven’t grabbed the bull by the horns and we were poor in a lot of departments.”
Castleford has a gargantuan challenge on their hands as they take on league title contenders the Wigan Warriors in their next match with Wigan currently in third on the Super League table.
A win for Castleford will at least keep them in the top six while victory for Wigan would put them level with the Catalans Dragons in second place.