Castleford Tigers coach Lee Radford hits out at spate of yellow cards

FOR 20 minutes against Huddersfield Giants, Castleford Tigers showed what they are capable of with a blistering display of attacking rugby.
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Unfortunately, they were 18-0 down when they finally started to play and the purple patch was too short-lived to secure a second successive win.

Over the 80 minutes, Giants – who started and finished really well – were the better team and good value for their 36-24 success at John Smith’s Stadium, but yellow cards had a major bearing on the game.

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Huddersfield’s third try came after Cas’ Jake Trueman had been sin-binned for pulling back Chris McQueen as he chased a kick behind Tigers’ line.

Referee James Child shows a yellow card to Castleford's George Lawler (not pictured) during the Tigers' 36-24 defeat at Huddersfield. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.Referee James Child shows a yellow card to Castleford's George Lawler (not pictured) during the Tigers' 36-24 defeat at Huddersfield. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.
Referee James Child shows a yellow card to Castleford's George Lawler (not pictured) during the Tigers' 36-24 defeat at Huddersfield. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

Giants hooker Danny Levi followed him late in the first half and the home side temporarily lost Jermain McGillvary in the second period, both for late hits.

Cas scored one try when Levi was absent and two with McGillvary off the field.

Having gone six points ahead, Tigers found themselves a man short with 18 minutes left, after referee James Child’s yellow card was shown to Georger Lawler for a dangerous tackle.

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Ricky Leutele powered over twice during Lawler’s time in the sin-bin and that spell effectively won them the game, though the centre completed his hat-trick to make sure in the final moments.

Castleford's Mahe Fonua is stopped by Owen Trout and Chris Hill.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson.Castleford's Mahe Fonua is stopped by Owen Trout and Chris Hill.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Castleford's Mahe Fonua is stopped by Owen Trout and Chris Hill. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Afterwards, Tigers boss Lee Radford revealed coaches will meet online with the RFL’s match review panel and director of operations and legal Robert Hicks on Wednesday to discuss this season’s spate of yellow cards and suspensions.

“The influence they are having on the game is significant,” Radford said of the cards in Saturday’s game, before referencing an RFL official’s recent comparison between the sport and netball.

He added: “If you are a neutral I think it will be great watching, but we are promoting blokes to roll all over the floor when there’s any contact with the head and if that’s the look for the sport and what it wants moving forward, we will be in netball outfits by the time we’ve finished.”

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Radford, though, made no attempt to blame the cards for Tigers’ fourth defeat in the opening five Betfred Super League rounds.

Castleford coach Lee Radford speaks to the media after the game. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.Castleford coach Lee Radford speaks to the media after the game. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Castleford coach Lee Radford speaks to the media after the game. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

He admitted: “We went from major disappointment at half-time to thinking we were in with a chance, but ultimately, how we started in that first 40 minutes, you shouldn’t have a chance – a smart team kills that game off.

“We just didn’t get right what we said we needed to get right early on, particularly in our contact areas; I thought they were really poor for that first 40 minutes.”

During the fightback, Joe Westerman’s pass sent Liam Watts striding clear and he put Jake Trueman over, then Mahe Fonua burrowed in from close range. Greg Eden scored from a pass by Gareth O’Brien and the winger made a break which Trueman finished, O’Brien converting all four.

“They don’t give in,” Radford added.

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“Credit where credit’s due, they keep swinging and so many of our games this year have gone like that.

“It could have quite easily swung either way, but major points and incidents in the game have an effect on that and in the main, we’ve been second-best in that area.”

Owen Trout scored Giants’ first try, Luke Yates grabbed their second and McGillvary raced over for their third, Will Pryce converting two and landing a penalty in the first period, before converting all three of Leutele’s touchdowns late on.

Huddersfield Giants: Lolohea, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Leutele, I Senior, Pryce, Russell, Hill, Levi, Trout, Roberts, McQueen, Yates. Subs English, Greenwood, A O’Brien, Ikahihifo.

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Castleford Tigers: G O’Brien, Eden, Turner, Fonua, Olpherts, Trueman, McShane, Smith, Lawler, Matagi, Sutcliffe, Blair, Westerman. Subs Watts, Edwards, Hepi, Robb.

Referee: James Child (Dewsbury).

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