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Super League match report: Castleford Tigers peg back London Broncos
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Castleford Tigers battled back from 30-16 down with 10 minutes to play at the Twickenham Stoop to claim a 30-30 draw against the lowly London Broncos.
First-half tries from James Mendeika, Scott Wheeldon and Chris Melling set the home side on their way, with Daryl Clark and Rangi Chase replying for the visitors.
Chris Bailey and Craig Gower touched down for London in the second half while Grant Millington kept Castleford within touching distance of Tony Rea's side.
London looked in control with a 14-point lead late on, but scores from Justin Carney and Nathan Massey brought the Tigers to within two points before Jamie Ellis' last-gasp penalty secured a share of the spoils.
One of London's problems is a leaky defence, though, and that was shown up in the ninth minute as Castleford opened their account with a brilliant length-of-the-field effort.
The Tigers were pinned on their own line when Carney scooped the ball up but the hulking winger quickly found a gap for Kirk Dixon and he fed the supporting Clark who went 60 metres.
Pros and cons
The two tries summed up the pros and cons of the sides - both dangerous but vulnerable - and London bordered on the brilliant again with 15 minutes gone as Gower's no-look pass sent Wheeldon powering over the line.
Cas were winded by the score and struggled to see the ball for some time afterwards, but were given a reprieve when Antonio Kaufusi shot out of the line and poleaxed Dixon with a wild shot which served to stoke up the visitors.
Whether as a direct result or not they were level minutes after, although with the help of a forward-looking pass. Rangi Chase started and finished the move, with his bullet pass to Carney possibly illegal. Referee Ben Thaler saw nothing wrong, though, and Carney returned the ball to Chase who did the rest.
But London would end the half on top, scoring as the hooter approached after a Jordan Tansey error. The full-back was bewitched by Gower's boot all afternoon and after he coughed the ball up a scrum was formed and Luke Dorn sent Melling in on an overlap.
The action was not quite as fluid after the restart as penalties were conceded and it took until the 50th minute for the scoreboard to move again, Witt kicking a 40-metre penalty to edge his side out to 18-10 ahead.
Castleford only had themselves to blame for the penalty and were even more culpable three minutes later as London scored a fourth try.
Chase's poor pass caught Jordan Thompson napping but, rather than defend the free play London had, Castleford failed to get back in line and Gower cut through them before sending the supporting Chris Bailey in.
The Tigers suddenly needed three tries to get anything from the game and Chase duly stepped up, with a brilliant high kick finding Grant Millington who grounded.
They could not build any sustained pressure on the back of it, though, and when Gower ducked his way to the line from close range the game appeared to be up.
But Castleford came back again and this time with an end product. First Carney showed neat feet to slide down the touchline and score and then, after Nathan Massey bounced over from close range, Ellis slotted the decisive penalty.
First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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