Castleford Tigers skipper Michael Shenton focuses on Super League after Challenge Cup final defeat by St Helens

Castleford Tigers'  season is still alive despite their Betfred Challenge Cup final defeat, captain Michael Shenton says.

Sunday, 18th July 2021, 12:00 pm
Wembley dejection for Michael Shenton and his Tigers teammates. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Tigers are eighth in the table, having won only one of their last seven league matches played.

They travel to leaders Catalans Dragons, who are on a nine-match winning run, on Saturday and Shenton is refusing to give up on a shot at the Grand Final.

“This season is not done and dusted,” he vowed after the 26-12 Wembley loss to St Helens.

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Michael Shenton, left and Saints' James Roby lead their teams out at Wembley. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

“It is massive we got to the final and massively disappointing we didn’t win, but rugby keeps going and we have to fight to get into that top-six now.”

Tigers rested key players ahead of the final and were beaten 70-18 at home by Salford Red Devils in their most recent league game, but Shenton stressed: “All our focus now is on moving past this as quickly as possible and getting back into the league and getting that back on track.”

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Castleford led 12-6 midway through the final, but Saints dominated most of the second half.

Of Tigers’ performance, Shenton said: “I don’t think we started the game particularly well, but we grew into it in the first half.

“We were on top for the most of that first half, then to come out and start so slow in the second was massively disappointing.”

More - Castleford Tigers 12 St Helens 26: Niall Evalds named man of the match in heartbreaking Challenge Cup final defeat at WembleyBut he hailed his side’s effort as “outstanding” and insisted: “There was massive courage there.

“A few calls went against us, we had to defend our line a lot and Saints controlled all the territory in the second half.

“I thought the scoreline flattered them with those [penalty] kicks and [Kyle] Amor’s try at the end. I can’t see how the ref has given that, but it’s done and dusted now.

“We have to get over our bumps and bruises and the hit to our egos.

“Getting beaten in finals is devastating, but we have to move on.”

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