RICH & FAMOUS
Danny seals it for Castleford ...at the fourth time of asking
Castleford 17 Catalans Dragons 16
CASTLEFORD’S Danny Richardson slotted the match-winning drop-goal at the fourth time of asking.
The scrum-half saw two shots head wide in normal time. And his next effort was brilliantly charged down by Sam Tomkins in goldenpoint extra-time.
But Cas got the ball back and Richardson composed himself to guide it over.
It was only his third game of the season after an injuryravaged time. Boss Lee Radford, who has not ruled out giving Richardson a new deal for 2023, said: “I’m really pleased for Danny.
“He’s backed up a good performance in the win in Toulouse with a very good one here. For him to execute that under the spotlight was very pleasing.
“Our set-up was really poor but we got there in the end. There was some really dumb stuff but some real special efforts as well. I’m just pleased we came out on the other side. We really stuck in.”
But last season’s beaten Grand Finalists Catalans blew chances galore to win it.
Leading 16-10 after tries from Michael McIlorum, Tomkins and Arthur Romano, they really should have put the game to bed in the 68th minute.
Tomkins grubbered through but the England captain, who missed an earlier simple conversion attempt, bounced the ball trying to score. Moments later, Cas levelled at the other end as Paul McShane smuggled Derrell Olpherts over on the last tackle. Richardson held his nerve to slot the touchline conversion.
Castleford’s other tries came from Cheyse Blair and Ryan Hampshire, the fullback who later limped off with a knee injury.
Catalans’ Joe Chan broke through late on only to butcher a dream chance by ignoring a two-man overlap.
And Josh Drinkwater and Tomkins missed drop-goal attempts in the first period of extra-time.
Disappointed Catalans boss Steve McNamara said: “We should have finished the game easily in normal time. We had so many opportunities to do that and then we had more in extra-time.
“We’re hugely disappointed. We’ve been really good in those areas before. But for whatever reason we never got it done today.
“We didn’t find touch with a penalty, there were knockons, not touching down balls, going for drop-goals when it’s clearly not on – we had a plan not to do that.
“We had a break and he (Chan) dummied and went himself. It just went from one to the other.
“I have to give Credit to Castleford, but I think we missed a huge opportunity today.”