Castleford 26 Catalan Dragons 46: Tigers suffer sixth successive defeat
16:45 GMT, 2 September 2012
Ryan Hudson, Nick Youngquest and Stuart Jones all scored tries on their farewell home appearances for Castleford but it was not enough to prevent their team going down to a sixth successive Super League defeat.
Tigers captain Danny Orr, another man playing his last match at the Probiz Coliseum as he edges closer to retirement, also got on the scoresheet with three goals but the Catalan Dragons were in no mood for sentiment as they cruised to victory.
Full-back Clint Greenshields and winger Damien Blanch both scored hat-tricks as the French side secured their first away win for two months to reclaim fourth place in the table, while the Tigers are in serious danger of collecting the wooden spoon in coach Ian Millward's first season.
Trailing 40-12 after an hour, Castleford rallied to score three tries in the final quarter to add respectability to the scoreline.
There was also an impressive performance from reigning Man of Steel Rangi Chase on only his second appearance in almost three months while hooker Daryl Clark showed some nice touches on his comeback after spending more than three months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
But the Catalans, who gave a debut to forward Antoni Maria, always looked a class apart, despite the absence of the injured Leon Pryce.
It looked so easy for the visitors from the moment second rower Setaimata Sa put centre Vincent Duport through a yawning gap in the Castleford defence for the opening try after seven minutes.
The Dragons then demonstrated their counter-attacking brilliance when second rower Louis Anderson picked up a loose ball 20 metres from his own line and combined with Daryl Millard, Greenshields and Scott Dureau to get Blanch over in the other corner for his first try.
Hudson kept the Tigers in touch when he won the race to Orr's grubber kick and Jones took Chase's pass to stretch out for a try but the visitors were always in control.
Castleford's cause was not helped when scrum-half Jamie Ellis went off with an arm injury midway through the first half and their suspect defence cracked three more times more before the break.
Dureau picked out Sa with a pinpoint kick, Greenshields raced over for his first and Blanch shrugged off Lee Mitchell's weak tackle to grab his second try on the stroke of half-time.
Greenshields then scored his second try, courtesy of an inside pass from Bosc, nine minutes into the second half and he completed his hat-trick six minutes later after supporting a break from Duport.
With Dureau taking his goal tally to six from seven attempts to make it 40-12, Castleford were staring at a heavy defeat but they were in no mood to roll over.
Orr and Hudson combined to get Youngquest over at the corner before a superb pass by Chase created a try for Grant Millington, who then turned provider for full-back Richard Owen to score the Tigers' fifth try four minutes from the end.
Orr failed with his last two conversion attempt and the Catalans had the final say when Blanch sprinted down the touchline to complete his hat-trick and Dureau kicked his seventh goal.