Youngquest and Arundel go to great lengths for Cas

Castleford Tigers 34 Catalans Dragons 24
Click to follow
The Independent Online

The second-half specialists of Castleford showed their ability to go the distance as they went back to the top of the table.

The topsy-turvy world that is Super League XVI threatened to spin in surprising directions again, though, as last season's bottom side led twice. The Tigers hung on to the competition's only perfect record with four tries after the break, two of them breathtaking length-of-the-field efforts from Nick Youngquest and Joe Arundel.

"We knew they were going to come at us," said the Cas coach, Terry Matterson, of the scares his side survived. "We came out of the blocks a bit slowly, but showed the grit and determination to get the job done."

The Dragons were on fire for the first 10 minutes, taking the lead with two well-worked tries, both owing much to their new Australian half-back, Scott Dureau.

He scored the first, when Steve Menzies palmed down Ian Henderson's kick, and then set up the second with an inch-perfect chip into the arms of the former Castleford winger, Damien Blanch. Cas seemed to have recovered from that dreadful start when, after two penalties had put them into position, the outstanding prop Craig Huby took a pass from the half-back Rangi Chase to score.

Dureau kicked out on the full to concede possession for the Tigers' second, with Stuart Jones running of Danny Orr's hip and Kirk Dixon's second goal putting them ahead.

That was not the end of the problems the French were to cause them in the first half. After Blanch had knocked on with the line open, the Dragons regained the lead after Cas stood back when Menzies' off-load hit the ground and the alert Dureau picked up the pieces for his second try, followed by his second conversion and a penalty seconds before the break.

Just as they were last week against Hull KR, Cas were a different side in the second half, starting with Richie Mathers' long pass to send in Dixon.

A great run by the exciting17-year-old hooker, Daryl Clark, then set up the position from which Chase dummied his way over.

It was time for the spectaculars, with Youngquest picking off Dureau's kick to the corner to go the 100metres with the chasers trailing.

After Clark had denied Menzies – 20 years his senior – with a superb tackle inches short of the try line, Arundel went almost as far as his team-mate, scooping up a loose ball near his own line and racing clear.

Cyril Stacul got over for the persistent Catalans with seven minutes to play, but the damage had been done and Cas were back on top of the world.

Castleford: Mathers; Dixon, Arundel, Youngquest; Chase, Orr; Jackson, Milner, Huby, Emmitt, Holmes, Jones. Substitutes used: Widders, Clark, Fozzard, Aspinwall.

Catalans: Greenshields; Blanch, Farrar, Millard, Stacul; Sa, Dureau; Paea, Henderson, Fakir, Menzies, Raguin, Baitieri. Substitutes used: Ferriol, Casty, Mounis, Gigot.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington).