Daryl Powell’s first match in charge of Castleford Tigers ended in a hard-fought defeat as Catalan Dragons held off a second-half fightback.
The hosts led 30-6 at half-time thanks to tries from Daryl Millard, Vincent Duport, Louis Anderson, Steven Menzies and Morgan Escare, all converted by Thomas Bosc, with Josh Thompson crossing for the visitors’ sole score.
The Tigers came roaring back after the break, Thompson getting his second, Justin Carney scoring twice and Daryl Clark also going over.
But Eloi Pelissier’s sixth try for Catalan and a late drop goal and penalty from Bosc made sure the hosts held off the fightback.
It started badly for Cas as Catalan scored in their first passage of possession through Millard.
Castleford were level five minutes later after two back-to-back penalties gave the Tigers field position, and Thompson went over to score after being given the nod on the video referee’s approval.
Jamie Ellis converted to level. Catalan were rewarded after Bosc’s 40-20, from the scrum centre Duport going over to the left of the posts.
From the restart, the Dragons attacked from deep and Anderson went over. The Dragons registered two more tries in the four minutes before half-time through Menzies and Escare, racing 90 metres to score. Bosc converted both.
The Tigers shocked the crowd with two quick-fire tries after the break. Rangi Chase’s kick into the in-goal-area was allowed to bounce by Bosc and Zeb Taia.
Milner didn’t give up and knocked it into the field of play for Thompson to pick up and score. Ellis converted.
Then Carney raced in from 80 metres. Ellis adding the extras.
Jordan Tansey’s error then allowed Catalan to press from deep in Castleford territory.
Anderson took the Dragons to within one metre of the line and Pelissier picked up, dummied and dived over to score. Bosc converted to make it 36-18.
With 15 minutes to go the Tigers again went over twice. Tansey and Grant Millington broke clear to send in Clark and from the restart Carney claimed his second. Ellis converted both to take the scores to 36-30.
Cas had a try ruled out by the video referee, Clark ruled offside from Kirk Dixon’s kick through. From the penalty the Dragons raced downfield and Bosc settled home nerves with a drop goal.
And with time running out a high tackle by Thompson on Remi Casty gave Bosc the chance to extend the lead and his 100 per cent stint with the boot.
Catalan dragons: Escare, Blanch, Menzies, Duport, Millard, Pryce, Bosc, Simon, Henderson, Casty, Taia, Anderson, Mouis. Subs (all used): Maria, Pelissier, Larroyer, Fakir.
CASTLEFORD TIGERS: Tansey, Carney, Shenton, Thompson, Dixon, Chase, Ellis, Mason, Clark, Huby, Gilmour, Holmes, Massey. Subs (all used): Walker, Millington, Milner, Boyle.
REFEREE: Phil Bentham (Warrington).