Castleford Tigers fined for not fulfilling Super League fixture against St Helens and breaching Covid protocols after Wembley Challenge Cup final defeat

Castleford Tigers have been handed a five-figure fine for failing to fulfil  a fixture against St Helens earlier this season and a separate breach of Covid protocols.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 7:37 pm
Castleford Tigers won at St Helens earlier this month, but the home fixture in June did not take pace. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.

Tigers say they are “disappointed” but will accept the punishment after being penalised £35,000, with £15,000 of that suspended for two years.

Castleford’s home game against St Helens in June was awarded as a 24-0 victory to the visitors when injury-hit Tigers were unable to raise a side.

The Covid breach was a lack of social distancing on the team coach returning from last month’s Betfred Challenge Cup final defeat by Saints at Wembley Stadium.

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Wembley dejection for Castleford Tigers. Picture by Bruce Rollinson,

A subsequent coronavirus outbreak led to Tigers’ Super League matches at Catalans Dragons and Leigh Centurions being postponed.

Huddersfield Giants and Salford Red Devils have also been fined for breaches of RFL operational rules.

A statement on the club’s website said: “Castleford Tigers are disappointed but ultimately accept the RFL’s decision to fine the club following the extenuating circumstances which led to the Tigers’ Betfred Super League match against St Helens not being fulfilled on June 30.

“As was stated to both the RFL and St Helens, Castleford Tigers had just 14 first team players available due to injuries and Covid-19 protocols being followed meant the club could not call upon its academy or young players.

“Castleford Tigers could not postpone the fixture on June 30 due to the number of players outside of the club’s top 25 earners not being affected at that time by Covid protocols.

“Every effort was made by Castleford Tigers to field a team for the match until it was ultimately too late and the game needed to be cancelled, much to the club’s disappointment.

“Castleford Tigers did however field a team for the match against Huddersfield Giants on August 2, despite meeting the RFL’s framework for a postponement due to player availability for Covid-related reasons.”

Giants were fined £30,000 - £15,000 suspended for two years - for failing to fulfil Super League fixture with Castleford on July 6.

Huddersfield said they did not have enough players available and Tigers were awarded a 24-0 win.

Under RFL laws, games can only be postponed if a minimum of seven players are unavailable because of coronavirus, either positive tests or self-isolation.

Salford were penalised £25,000 - £12,500 suspended for one year - for breaches of Covid protocols which led to the postponement of matches against Wakefield Trinity and Hull.

St Helens also suffered a post-Wembley Covid outbreak which led to their following two games, against Hull KR and Huddersfield Giants, being postponed.

The RFL say that matter is "still to be resolved".