A FRUSTRATING Castleford Tigers performance secured a point at London Broncos in a game they could have won and should have lost.
Tigers showed what they are capable of by scoring 14 unanswered points in the final nine minutes to secure a dramatic 30-30 draw.
Had Cas played like that throughout they would have won with something to spare; instead it was patchy at best – and poor for spells – and coach Daryl Powell felt they were lucky to come away with a point.
London have forgotten how to win. When Craig Gower stretched over and Michael Witt landed his fifth goal to make it 30-16 on 66 minutes, they had the game in the bag.
But on 71 minutes a bit of magic from Rangi Chase led to a storming finish by Justin Carney and three later Nathan Massey nipped over from close range.
Jamie Ellis converted both and with 94 seconds left the ball was stolen from Craig Huby and the No 7 kept his nerve to land a penalty from just to the left of the posts to square things up.
Ironically, both Witt and Ellis had earlier missed with a simple conversion attempt.
“I thought it was a poor effort from us from the start to nearly the finish,” a deeply disappointed Powell reflected.
“There were some good bits of play in there, but not enough. We’re not tough enough. We’ve got a way to go for us to be competitive in every single game.
“I thought we got a point we didn’t really deserve. We need to toughen up as a group of people, right across the board.
“I’ve been in charge for three games now and it’s been a bit of a mixed bag, but overall we’ve got a long way to go and we need to continue to improve.”
Cas scored two excellent first half tries, despite being second-best.
After James Mendeika crossed to give Broncos an early lead, Carney flicked the ball to Kirk Dixon near Cas’ line, he made a break and Daryl Clark did the rest from long range.
Ellis booted over the first of his five goals.
Scott Wheeldon went over for London, before Chase scored following a thrilling one-two with Carney.
A Chris Melling try made it 16-10 at the break and Michael Witt booted a penalty before Chris Bailey scored on the free play after an error by Jordan Thompson.
The hard-working Grant Millington leaped like a very big salmon to take Chase’s kick to get Cas back into it, but Gower’s try should have finished them off.
The penalty count finished 11-6 in Tigers’ favour in referee Ben Thaler’s final game before undergoing minor knee surgery.
London Broncos: Dorn, Melling, Mendeika, Channing, Robertson, Witt, Gower, Wheeldon, Fisher, Clubb, Rodney, Bailey, Cook. Subs (all used): Bryant, Krasniqi, Bishay, Kaufusi.
Castleford Tigers: Tansey, Carney, Thompson, Shenton, Dixon, Chase, Ellis, Millington, Clark, Huby, Holmes, Hauraki, Massey. Subs (all used): Walker, Milner, Fleming, Boyle.
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).