Photo by Sky Sports
As a UK native, I was aware of the term “wooden spoon”, but not in the sense of a predictor style weekly analysis. The obvious choice over the past five weeks has been Toulouse Olympique, but after possibly the biggest shock we will see in a Super League game for a long time they beat 3x in a row champions St. Helens. So, this week I have no choice but to give the spoon to…
The Castleford Tigers
Thursday night saw the out of form Castleford Tigers, winning only one game out of their first five (by way of a 36-22 win over Hull FC in round four), take on the Wigan Warriors, losing just one of their opening five against Catalans.
All eyes were on the Tigers to cause an upset, as Wigan just managed to edge previous spoon takers Toulouse by a drop goal! However, Wigan scoring two tries in the first 20 minutes put a dent in their plans.
Castleford have been awful discipline wise they’ve had six yellows and one red in their first six games. As well as this coach Lee Radford said on the sinbins “It’s not what I was brought up on, not the game I love.” referring to hard tackles being given as yellows. Radford is usually quick to blame officials for his sides poor discipline, sometimes maybe he is right, but six yellows and one red in the first six has me thinking the referees haven’t made seven carding errors specifically just for the Tigers.
The Tigers are in a crisis, especially after this week as other spoon contenders Toulouse beat St. Helens. Castleford have a Challenge Cup game against Leeds next week, but their next league fixture is against…Toulouse. It should be a great game which both sides desperately need to win.
They’ve been a top-level Super League team for many years now, so watching their decline is quite sad I am sure for Castleford fans.
Lee Radford is not a good fit for them, I think that with Powell leaving at the end of last season was a disaster for Castleford and they should have tried harder to keep him, as there was no evidence of a fallout or bad blood within the club. Should they get better, I think they have enough resources and depth in the squad to stay up, but who knows. If Toulouse now find some form and more confidence after their huge win this could be a serious problem for them.