Challenge Cup final reaction: No complaints from Castleford Tigers after Wembley loss to St Helens

Neither coach Daryl Powell nor man of the match Niall Evalds had any complaints after Castleford Tigers’ Betfred Challenge Cup final loss to St Helens.

Sunday, 18th July 2021, 9:40 am
Niall Evalds scored Tigers' first try. Picture by Bruyce Rollinson.

Tigers were beaten 26-12, after leading 12-6 at half-time at Wembley today.

A controversial try by James Roby swung the tie Saints’ way soon after half-time, but Powell accepted the better team won.

He felt that try might have been ruled out, but stressed: “They put more pressure on us than we were able to put on them, with their kicking game.”

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Disappointment for Tigers' Oliver Holmes as Saints celebrate at the final whistle. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Powell said: “We made too many errors in the second half.

“You couldn’t fault the boys for effort and commitment, but you probably could for composure.

Powell was “super-proud” of his players, despite the disappointment of a third defeat in a major final.

“It didn’t quite happen in the end and I thought Saints deserved to win the game,” Powell added.

“We weren’t good enough in the second half. I’ve got no complaints.”

It was more Wembley heartbreak for Evalds, nine months to the day after being on the losing side for Salford Red Devils against Leeds Rhinos.

Evalds, who won the Lance Todd Trophy as the game’s outstanding player, said: "In the first half we were good, we were calm.

“We pretty much executed how much we wanted to.

"They were much better than us in the second half.

“Credit to Saints, they are a champion side but we just weren't good enough in that second half.”

Evalds refused to use the conditions as an excuse.

He said: “It was hot out there, it was tough for everyone but they just had too much for us in that second half.

"We didn't do the things we wanted to. They were the better side.”

He added: “It is another final I have lost, I am heartbroken.

"We just have to go back to the drawing board.

“We want to come here again, we want to do it for Cas and all the people in the time.

"Unfortunately we couldn't do it today."

Tigers centre Peter Mata’utia described it as a “tough pill to swallow” - and revealed the club had stood by him during some family trauma.

“I wanted to win this game for the boys who have laid this platform for us,” said the Warrington-bound star.

"Boys like Massey, Shenny and Oggy [Nathan Masey, Michael Shenton and Oliver Holmes]. “That is who I wanted to win it for today.

"There are a lot of emotions right now.

"My first year at Cas, my son got diagnosed with a tumour and Cas were there from day one. “This club means a lot to me.

"I wanted to give this club something before I leave.

“The next thing I have got is the league and I will do everything I can to try and give them that."

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