Sunday 1st June 2014 - 1530
Referee: Tim Roby
With York City Knights not playing today, my attentions turned to other games to go to. However upon looking at the fixture list there was nothing in my price range with me saving my money to go watch York City in Scotland in July, I decided I was going to have a weekend off. However, Saturday I was given an offer from my father which I couldn't refuse.
This was to be my third trip to Castleford, fourth in total. I'd already seen them beat York Knights 62-6 in a pre season friendly and then saw them beat Catalans 32-6 in thier first home game of the season. Prior to that I saw them lose on their first home game of that season to Bradford 12-20.
Before kick off, Hull KR were a point outside the play offs but had a game in hand on Catalans who were in 8th. They had been in decent form as well, winning their past 2 games, one of which was against Hull FC in the annual Magic Weekend fixture.
Cas on the other hand had returned back to Classy Cas as they used to go by. They have shot up the league this year. After finishing 12th last season, with only Salford and London below them, they currently find themselves in nose bleed territory in 3rd. The change in fortunes can only have happened due to the hard work Daryl Powell (Head Coach) and Steve Gill (Chief Exec.) have put in at the club. The team spirit seems to be on a high as well. The Cas fans are singing louder than ever, especially with thier new club anthem 'Sweet Caroline' by Neil Diamond. They had also won their past two games against Wakefield & Widnes. The only downside for Cas is that Justin Carney was suspended for fighting against the Vikings. It was set to be a very interesting match.
The only other fixture of note is the 12th v 13th clash of Wakefield v Bradford at Odsal.
We set off at 1410 and arrived at the ground at 1450 after parking about 3/4 of a mile away.
The ground is a very traditional one. We went through the turnstiles at the Wheldon Road End and walked up the very steep steps into the ground. We had a wander around the ground behind the main stand where I picked up the official programme 'Black & Amber' for £3, before making our way to the Railway End where the sun was beating down on us.
The Railway End was a steep terrace at Cas which was open to the elements. The terrace was crumbling slightly and the barriers were a tad too low for me. Behind us was the supporters club bar where several fans stood out us. The Castleford faithful were all in the Wheldon Road End opposite us. It was a covered terrace full of their flags at the back of it. To the left of us was the Princess Street Stand. The camera gantries and commentary positions where at the top of the stand dangling off the roof. Interestingly, this is where Daryl Powell watched the game from. To the right was a crumbling main stand which ran about half the length of the pitch with an open terrace adjoining each end. The roof of the stand appeared to be coming off its hinges. Empty glass panes were at the sides as well as orange sprayed poles. The stand was complete with the dug outs and the players' tunnel.
The match kicked off and Cas took an early lead from some good footwork from Michael Channing down the right hand side. He weaved in and out of the defenders. Sneyd added the extras with his rather distinctive kicking where he rotates so that his back is at goal.
Castleford then doubled their lead when a good Hauraki offload near the line sent Dorn crashing over for what was to be his first of many. Sneyd this time couldn't add the extras.
Ten minutes later Cas were in again when a high kick to the corner was tapped back for Grant Millington to touchdown unmarked. Sneyd added the conversion this time.
On the half hour mark, A scrum on the twenty metre line saw a poor flick on from Hauraki picked up by Kirk Dixon who zigzagged his way through the defenders to touch down in the corner. Sneyd missed the kick again.
A good string of four passes saw Channing in for his second of the afternoon on the 34th minute. He scored right in the corner which meant Sneyd missed the conversion again. Normally he scores for fun but the heat must have been getting to him.
With 2 minutes to go until half time, a quick tap from Kirk Dixon on the 20 saw him pass the ball to Luke Dorn who broke free and ran 60m to score in the corner to put Castleford up 28-0 at half time.
Interestingly, all of Cas' tries had come from the right hand wing where Rovers' defence was very poor. Something had to change in the second half for Rovers'... and it did! Six minutes into the second half and a good sidestep from Travis Burns saw KR under the sticks, he then completed it by converting his own try.
It didn't last though as Cas sought to take control again. Josh Hodgson had possesion for the Robins on Cas' 40m mark when he knocked it backwards was hoisted up by Millington who passed it right to Weller Hauraki, to Jake Webster. Webster then offloaded backwards to Hauraki who ran around him who passed it onto the wing to Dixon. Dixon cut inside beating to KR defenders before giving a one handed pass to Jamie Ellis to cross over the whitewash. Sneyd managed the extras this time.
As 3/4 of the way through the match was approaching, Clarke broke free beating two Hull defenders before passing left to Dorn to beat Cockayne. Dorn celebrated his hat-trick by pointing to the crowd. Unfortunately a missile was thrown at him, luckily though it missed both him and the referee. Sneyd couldn't miss this time being directly between the sticks.
The Red-Red Robins were soon seeing red after Weyman allegedly abused Tim Roby who showed him the red card, however he was soon cleared of any wrong doing as he 'directed it at a team mate' instead.
Castleford took full advantage of the extra man and were in again within five minutes. A kick from Ellis towards the right wing was tapped back by Dixon to Webster who touched down. The ex-Robin then applauded the home crowd. Sneyd once again, mis-converting.
Daryl Clarke then wanted a piece of the action too. After ripping up the Hull KR defence on his own 40, he ran rings around the defenders before finally being tackled 10m away by Kris Welham. Castleford were lining up on the right but Adam Milner chose to go left and passed the ball to Craig Huby who crashed down underneath the posts. Sneyd managing to add the extras.
A long pass from Sneyd opened up KRs' left hand side for the first time as James Clare got round Ade Gardner with some neat footwork to touch down. Sneyd missed the target.
Hull KR had the final say in the match when an intercepted pass saw winger Wayne Ulugia score with Burns adding the extras.
Full Time came and it ended 54-12 to Cas, who ended with their newly adopted anthem of Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline'.