Castleford RUFC 12 v Harrogate Pythons 1st XV 10
Harrogate Pythons travelled to Castleford, looking to make it 5 wins on the bounce. The Pythons kicked off and a big tackle from George Booth forced a knock on and an attacking scrum, but the initiative was lost following a mix up in midfield. Cas then showed their intent by going through phases only to be forced into another knock on by a Jordan Payne tackle. A break from Cas’s troublesome centre resulted in quick ball under the Pythons posts and a long, looping pass put their winger in at the corner. 5-0 15 mins. The Pythons responded with a clever run by returning wing Jake Harland resulting in a penalty which Will Clough pulled narrowly wide. A Clough kick saw the Cas full back tackled behind his own line, and from the resulting scrum, Will Butler was judged to be held up over the line. Clough broke out of defence and from the quick ball Gareth Drane kicked over for Sam Beagrie to collect and score, but Beagrie was ruled to be in front of the kicker. A long clearance by Cas bounced favourably into their wingers arms and he charged clear only to be stopped in his tracks by a magnificent covering tackle from full back Ollie Myers. The Pythons closed out the half with a series of pick and goes to leave the half time score Castleford 5 Pythons 0.
Cas’s kick off was collected by Booth who shrugged off several would be tacklers to gain the front foot. The Pythons worked up the field with some good carries by Marcus Fotherby, and Drane was taken out at the back of a ruck and a penalty awarded. Clough stepped up to open the Pythons account. 5-3 43 mins. A series of penalties saw the Pythons advance up the field and Drane took a quick tap on the Cas 22 and was taken out. The referee had seen enough to award a penalty try to put the Pythons in front. 5-10 62 mins. With Cas pressing, Payne made a break from a scrum to gain the Pythons valuable meters.
Cas continued to press and decided to go for the corner for attacking line outs instead of going for the points and were repelled time after time by determined defence. Neil Douglas was introduced to make this 100th appearance for the Pythons club, who again released the pressure with a long run out of defence by Ollie Wheatley. Eventually the pressure told when Cas were awarded a penalty under the posts and this time took a tap and the centre crashed over for the try. The Cas scrum half added the conversion from wide out. 12-10 76 mins. There was time for one more Pythons attacked but Cas stripped the ball in contact and the referee blew for time to leave the final score Castleford 12 Pythons 10.
Despite the bonus point this was a disappointing result for the Pythons who will be looking to get back to winning ways when they welcome Halifax Vandals to the Jim Saynor Ground next weekend.