Castleford Tigers: Crestfallen Cas target Grand Final

Andy Lynch
Andy Lynch
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ATTENTION TURNED straight to First Utility Super League after Castleford Tigers’ Tetley’s Challenge Cup final defeat by Leeds Rhinos.

Cas are fifth in the table, just a point behind second-placed Wigan Warriors and prop Andy Lynch said they are now determined to mount a serious assault on the Grand Final.

“It’s disappointing to lose a game like this,” Lynch said of the 23-10 defeat at Wembley. “But we’ve got a massive game on Sunday at home to Bradford.

“We’ve got to regroup and get those two points. They will come fired up ready to play us this week.”

Lynch,who played for Hull in their Cup final defeat by Wigan Warriors last year, added: “We’ve got to come out firing and not dwell on it.

“We’ve had a crack at the Challenge Cup and they were better than us on the day.

“We’ve got to focus on finishing in the top four and getting to that Grand Final.”

Fellow prop Craig Huby is confident Saturday’s loss will bring Tigers together as a group.

“We played well all year and this will only make us stronger,” said Huby.

The front-rower played at Wembley just 13 days after suffering a dislocated elbow in Tigers’ semi-final win over Widnes Vikings.

He added: “I got through the game, which I’m happy about. I’m just disappointed with the loss.

“I only took one pretty bad shot, but it only lasted 30 seconds and then it went off and it it was sweet again.

“The medical team have been unbelievable and all credit to them for what they’ve done in two weeks.”

Tigers’ longest-serving player had no complaints about the result.

“We weren’t good enough,” he said. “At 16-10 we were back in the game and we’d spoken at half-time about field position and being composed.

“We did that for a while, but we let the game get us away from us and we’ll learn from that.”

Stand-off Marc Sneyd said he understood coach Daryl Powell’s decision to substitute him in the first half.

“I wasn’t too surprised to be fair as I didn’t have the best of starts,” said Sneyd.

“I missed a couple of tackles which you can’t do in big games like this and I can’t fault him for bringing me off.”

Sneyd admitted Cas had been “outplayed” and he felt Rhinos’ greater big-game experience was a telling factor.

“Obviously we’re disappointed,” he acknowledged. “Leeds just ground out the win. They know the big games.

“That was our first and we came in fairly confident, but they stuck to the game plan 10 times better than we did and ground out the win.”

Castleford Tigers Alex Foster is tackled by Leeds Rhinos' Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

Peter Smith’s verdict: Out-of-form Rhinos are mauled by Tigers