NICK YOUNGQUEST scored a sensational length-of-the-field try as classy Castleford Tigers tonight returned to the top of Engage Super League.
The Australian winger leapt majestically to defuse Scott Dureau’s dangerous crossfield kick just before the hour mark and immediately turned defence into attack.
Youngquest, who has now touched down in all four games this season since joining from Crusaders, quickly put on some quality footwork to elude the Catalan defence before racing almost 100 metres to bring the PROBIZ Coliseum to its feet.
Castleford, with relentless prop Craig Huby and dazzling 18-year-old hooker Daryl Clark again outstanding, overcame an early 10-0 deficit to maintain the competition’s only 100 per cent record and continue their finest ever start in the summer era.
Terry Matterson gave a debut to ex-Hull KR prop Nick Fozzard but saw his side start slowly, caught off-guard by the pace and physicality of Catalan’s opening forays.
They were 10-0 down inside nine minutes following tries from Dureau and ex-Tigers winger Damien Blanch, each coming from kicks to their left side and the latter converted by Dureau.
However, they finally earned some field position on the back of a couple of penalties and Rangi Chase’s cleverly disguised pass sent in Huby, Kirk Dixon improving the 16th minute effort.
When Dureau kicked out on the full, Tigers forged ahead eight minutes later with Danny Orr’s excellent pass putting Stuart Jones surging through a gap 20 metres out, Dixon adding the extras.
Catalan lost all their earlier poise and control as the fired-up hosts increased the tempo but got a way back into the contest two minutes before the break when Chase’s attacking kick was charged down.
On the back of that possession, Steve Menzies squeezed out an off-load which found Tigers flat-footed and Dureau exploited the space to get his second.
He missed the conversion attempt but, after Dixon sailed the re-start dead, added a penalty when Richie Mathers was penalised for lying on with seconds to go.
However, for the second week running, the gutsy hosts overturned an interval lead with a ruthless second period.
Dixon atoned for his error when he dived over for a try in the 50th minute following Mathers’ excellent long pass and then Chase produced a magic moment, dummying his way over for a fine individual try which Dixon improved.
Youngquest’s brilliance saw them take control before Joe Arundel did likewise sprinting 80 metres when more physical defence forced another Catalan error.
Dixon goaled both stunning efforts before Cyril Stacul responded with five minutes to go, Dureau adding the goal, but this evening was all about the remarkable Tigers’ on-going success story.
Castleford: Mathers; Dixon, Arundel, Ferres, Youngquest; Chase, Orr; Jackson, Milner, Huby, Holmes, Emmitt, Jones. Substitutes: Fozzard, Aspinwall, Widders, Clark.
Catalan: Greenshields; Blanch, Farrar, Millard, Stacul; Sa, Dureau; Fakir, Henderson, Paea, Menzies, Raguin, Baitieri. Substitutes: Ferriol, Casty, Mounis, Gigot.
Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).