Catalans Dragons 36 Castleford Tigers 16 - ‘It’s one to forget’ admits disappointed Cas coach Daryl Powell

Castleford Tigers slumped to a disappointing defeat in the south of France as an Israel Folau-inspired Catalans Dragons coasted to success.

Sunday, 16th February 2020, 5:33 pm
Castleford try scorer James Clare runs at Dragons' Israel Folau

Controversial signing Folau scored a try with his first touch in Super League, with downbeat Tigers coach Daryl Powell lamenting a “game to forget”.

Refusing to blame the hype around Folau, he said: “There was no distraction at all tonight, I just thought it was a poor performance from us.

“We started the first half badly and started the second half badly.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Israel Folau celebrates his try for Dragons

“Catalans were pretty strong and we were just out-muscled, we weren’t good enough tonight.

“Israel Folau is a top-line player, he’s dangerous, obviously on kicks and we found that out pretty quickly but that didn’t have any effect on the game, it was more a poor performance by ourselves.

“We had the same thing with the first game of the season against Toronto with Sonny Bill Williams but these things have nothing to do with the game. It’s all about us.

“It was a game to forget for us, pretty quickly, hopefully.”

On the field, in addition to Folau’s touchdown, former Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins scored three tries for the Dragons as they secured their first win of the campaign.

Samisoni Langi and Fouad Yaha also crossed for the hosts while James Maloney kicked six goals.

Derrell Olpherts, Cheyse Blair and James Clare scored tries and Danny Richardson added three goals for Castleford, who had won their opening two games of the season.

Dragons coach Steve McNamara said he was pleased with the way his players had coped with the additional pressure.

He said: “I have congratulated the team because it has been difficult. To have journalists from all around the world descending on this region, chasing players around in cars and following people and all the other bits that go with it, the players have had to deal with that and credit to them.

“People are judging him on a headline, what they’ve seen on social media. When I sign a player I look at him from a football perspective then I work out what type of person he is. Is he a good person, is he a good player? Will he add value to the team on and off the field?

“I’m not judging him on any political or religious beliefs. We quite clearly do not believe in what he has said, we have made that clear in our club statement.

“The plan all along was to get Israel on the field and give him time. I understand the headlines but let him play, let him get on the field and we’ll understand the person a little more after that.”