U16s MATCH REPORT – Thunder push Tigers all the way

A game which was highly anticipated as both sides who have had good results this season went head to head at Kingston Park.

Castleford Tigers were the first to score as they eventually broke a tough Newcastle Thunder defence from some passing out wide to score in the corner.

Thunder were quick to respond as a full set of attack starting from the half-way line ended in Harry Laylands’ hands as he made a charging run down the left flank.

Five minutes later this was quickly followed by Philly Brantingham who also scored on the left from a low dive to the line, with the conversion successful from Alex Donaghy Newcastle Thunder were in the driving seat.

The Tigers showed their skill as they strung a series of well-practiced set pieces put their second row through the Newcastle Thunder defence untouched and Castleford Tigers were back in the lead.

The first half finished with Castleford on the defence as a perfect chip kick from Rupert Civil landed perfectly back into his hands, while a quick offload led to a big carry from Fergus Simpson where the set ended only centimetres from the Tigers try line.

Half Time: Newcastle Thunder 8 – 12 Castleford Tigers

After such a thrilling first 35 minutes, both teams came out the tunnel with looks of determination as they set up for the second half.

But once again it was Castleford Tigers who were the first team to get on the scoreboard as their hooker scored from a long reach to just dot it on the line, which was further added with a try from a 70-meter breakaway try from their second row which help stretch Castleford lead by a further six points.

Both teams had been putting in big collisions with Mark Roberts and Brantingham with shoulders of steel in defence and Isaac Notes bouncing a player in attack, but it was Lewis Howe with a big charge over the line that helped Thunder get back into the game and with another successful conversion by Donaghy.

Then what can only be described as the try of the game by Donaghy as he made an interception on Thunder’s 20-meter line and showed outstanding pace from the fullback as he went over for the try.

With the successful kick made by himself as well, Newcastle Thunder were just within four points of Castleford Tigers.

The clock was ticking as they entered the last ten minutes with Thunder testing the Castleford defence to push for the score.

Roberts put in an exceptional kick from a ruck and with some excellent support they pinned the Castleford player in the try zone forcing the Castleford goal line drop out.

Getting closer and closer as Owen Forster made a darting run down the left, a fresh set for Thunder after a high tackle reset the count, but they couldn’t make anything of it which then put Castleford back in control entering the last five minutes.

Overall a great spectacle of rugby for all those watching as big hits and lengthy tries were all involved.

The Scholarship side will be looking to end their season on a high as they next play Wakefield on Wednesday 18th April at Kingston Park.

Full Time – Newcastle Thunder 20 – 24 Castleford Tigers