Castleford Tigers lose out to Danny McGuire's golden point drop-goal

Greg Minikin, who raced 80 metres for a try for Castleford Tigers at Hull KR.
Greg Minikin, who raced 80 metres for a try for Castleford Tigers at Hull KR.

Castleford Tigers let a 12-point lead slip in the last quarter before going down to a golden point 27-26 defeat to relegation battlers Hull KR.

Danny McGuire's drop-goal in extra-time proved ultimately decisive in a topsy turvy match that saw both sides open up good leads only for their opponents to hit back.

Hull KR were boosted by the signings of Dean Hadley and Jez Litten in the build-up to the match and flew out of the blocks to open up an early 12-0 lead.

Half-back Josh Drinkwater set up two tries with grubber kicks and with Daniel Murray and Adam Quinlan getting on the end of them and Ryan Shaw converting twice the hosts were 12 point up.

Cas hit back when Peter Mata’utia followed up his own kick into the in-goal area to touch down and added the conversion.

Shaw nudged Rovers further ahead with a penalty, but the Tigers finished the half strongly as Jordan Rankin took Liam Watts’ offload to charge over for a try goaled by Mata'utia.

It got even better for Cas just before the break as Watts and Cheyse Blair made good ground then Jake Trueman's kick was superbly taken by James Clare, who touched down. As he was tackled in the air as well an eight-point try was awarded with Mata'utia's two goals making it 20-14 at half-time.

The second half began with Rovers on attack, but against the run of play the Tigers scored again when Mata’utia picked up a loose ball near his own line and released Greg Minikin, who then stepped back inside the covering defence and raced fully 80 metres for an exciting try. Mata’utia's try made it 26-14 and Cas appeared to be in control.

The lead was maintained with good defence until the 62nd minute when former Tiger Ben Crooks finished Chris Atkin’s long range break.

Three minutes later the comeback gathered further momentum as Crooks outjumped Greg Eden to collect Drinkwater’s kick to score and Shaw's fourth conversion tied the scores.

The scene was set for a frantic finish in which McGuire missed one drop-goal attempt and had another charged down.

Cas had a chance to win it, but Mata’utia missed with a penalty shot at goal.

Drinkwater was next to be off target with a field goal effort before Trueman had his drop charged down at the other end.

The Tigers had one last chance, but Mata’utia opted to go for the line himself and was denied.

Rovers had first possession in extra-time and McGuire came up with a 40/20 kick then his decisive drop-goal to leave Cas empty handed on their return across the M62.

Scorers - Hull KR; Tries Murray, Quinlan, Crooks 2; goals Shaw 5; drop-goal McGuire. Castleford: Tries Mata’utia, Rankin, Clare, Minikin; goals Mata’utia 5.

Hull KR: Quinlan; Shaw, Crooks, Keinhorst, Hall; Drinkwater, McGuire; Masoe, Atkin, Murray, Tomkins, Hauraki, Lawler. Subs: Hadley, Litten, Addy, Mulhern.

Castleford Tigers: Rankin; Clare, Minikin, Blair, Eden; Trueman, Mata'utia; Watts, Milner, Sene-Lefao, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey. Subs: Millington, Maher, O'Neill, Clarkson.

Referee: Chris Kendall.

Half-time: 14-20.

Attendance: 8,004.