After decades of mediocrity Castleford Tigers have now become one of Super League’s most consistent performers. Top six league finishes in the last five seasons including top spot and the League leaders shield in 2017 have raised the clubs profile considerably. Many expected Castleford to be crowned champions in 2017 after a blistering campaign but the Tigers were beaten by Leeds in the Grand Final.
In 2019 Daryl Powell’s side have yet to hit the heights of recent years making this match another vital game in what’s becoming a very exciting season.
The Super League table is so tight and congested, matches are becoming so much harder to predict.
Salford and Castleford have quite a bit of history in meetings over the years. The two sides met at Wembley in 1969 in a Challenge Cup final full of incident and controversy. Salford supporters of a certain age could be forgiven for holding a slight grudge against the men from Wheldon Road.
Over the years Castleford have been quite a bogey team for Salford. Numerous challenge cup defeats and a heart breaking day in 2002 when Salford were relegated at The Willows losing 10-20 with former fans favourite Darren Rogers returning to score against us. Who could forget the 70 point hammering at home to the Tigers earlier on that very season.
Salford have had a share of good results in this fixture. The clash in 2017 was a pulsating affair at The AJ Bell Stadium. Gareth O Brien’s drop goal settled a terrific match 13-12.
Gareth O Brien drops the vital goal two seasons ago.
Salford’s first ever fixture in Super League was a nail biting 4-0 victory over the Tigers At The Willows. Phil Coussons scoring the match winning try that day.
Super League Home record.
1997 Salford 4 Castleford 0
1998 Salford 8 Castleford 18
1999 Salford 17 Castleford 29
2000 Salford 16 Castleford 22
2001 Salford 18 Castleford 26
2002 Salford 16 Castleford 74
2002 Salford 10 Castleford 20
2004 Salford 30 Castleford 14
2006 Salford 26 Castleford 16
2009 Salford 12 Castleford 18
2010 Salford 22 Castleford 28
2011 Salford 8 Castleford 15
2012 Salford 10 Castleford 24
2013 Salford 34 Castleford 30
2014 Salford 23 Castleford 16
2015 Salford 20 Castleford 22
2016 Salford 22 Castleford 18
2017 Salford 13 Castleford 12
2017 Salford 4 Castleford 23 ( super eights)
2018 Salford 6 Castleford 24
They played for both.
Throughout the Super League era there have been plenty of players who have played for both clubs and quite a few through the 1970s and 80s.
Here is a selection of them ;
Paul Orr, Bill Kirkbride, Jonny Ward, Barry Kear, Ron Hill, Ian Bragger, Justin Carney, Chris Charles, Jason Critchley, Luke Dorn, Greg Eden, Jake Emmit, Jason Flowers, Matt Gardner, Ashley Gibson, Wayne Godwin, Weller Hauraki, Lee Jewitt, Michael Korkidas, Francis Maloney, Mike Platt, Darren Rogers, Darren Shaw, Mark Sneyd and Gray Viane.
A fresh faced Jason Flowers has good spells with both clubs.
A match to remember Friday 8th September 2006
Salford 26 Castleford 16.
An amazing start to the 2006 season saw Salford riding high in the League table playing some of their best rugby for years. As the year progressed after Easter form dipped but this victory at the Willows secured a 5th place finish in the penultimate round of matches and a crack at the Super League playoffs.
The Tigers looked to be in control as they took a 14-4 lead with tries from Luke Dyer and Danny Sculthorpe and three goals from Danny Brough.
Malcolm Alker and Daley Williams grabbed first half tries for Salford who trailed 8-14 at half time.
After a good old fashioned Karl Harrison team talk The City Reds came out firing in the second half in what was a tense night of action under the lights.
Salford had a real hunger and desire about them. With Warrington, Harlequins and Wigan just behind us in the table their was no room for error.
Barn storming forward Andy Coley, crafty scrum half Luke Robinson and the ever reliable David Hodgson all touched down for tries to condemn Castleford to a 26-16 defeat.
The Tigers went on to play Wakefield in the final round of the regular season a week later in a match where the losing side would be relegated.
Wakefield completed their own great escape as they condemned Castleford to relegation from Super League with a tension-filled victory 29-17 in front of a packed crowd at Belle Vue.
The teams that night were;
Salford, Hodgson, Williams, McGuinness, Moule, Wilshere, Dunemann, Robinson, Coley, Alker, Rutgerson, Littler, Brocklehurst, Finnigan.
Subs, Charles, Highton, Adamson, Haggerty.
Castleford, Platt, A Fletcher, Shenton, McGoldrick, Dyer, Lupton, Brough, Sculthorpe, Henderson, Nutley, Ward, Manu, R Fletcher.
Subs, Davis, Viane, Bird, Fa’aoso.
Referee, Karl Kirkpatrick.
After last Sunday’s Victory over Wakefield, two points on Friday night would see Salford climb above Castleford in to 5th place. The Tigers have struggled for form in recent weeks and come in to the match on the back of a home loss to Hull Fc.
Losing star half back Luke Gale for the season was a huge blow for Daryl Powell’s side. This however has given an opportunity to a very talented young player Jake Trueman. The Tigers do have a few option in the halves but Trueman has nailed down a starting position this year with Jordan Rankin and Cory Aston both challenging to partner him.
Castleford always seem to have a strong pack with Liam Watts, Junior Moors, Jesse Sene-Lefeo, Adam Milner and Mike McMeeken to name a few. Their certainly is the talent to cause most teams problems. Paul McShane at hooker is one of the real danger men of Super League. His short kicking game and pace around the ruck makes him a pivotal cog in the Castleford engine. When he’s allowed to play the Tigers can cause a lot of damage.
Paul McShane, a key player for The Tigers.
Ian Watson’s Salford side we’re relieved to get the win last weekend but know improvement is needed to maintain a push for the top five.
This clash has all the promise of a really fast open game. Both sides like to attack and play a flowing brand of rugby.
Jackson Hastings and Robert Lui were sensational last week, in particular Lui created so much and had a hand in most of the tries. Hastings work rate is phenomenal making him very much a wanted man for the 2020 season. When these two click in to gear the opposition have struggled to live with the Red Devils this season.
Safe travels and enjoy the game everyone.