Castleford Tigers captain Michael Shenton delighted with spirit in epic Cup win

CASTLEFORD Tigers captain Michael Shenton has spoken about the “sheer relief” felt after getting through their epic Betfred Challenge Cup tie at Hull KR.

Daryl Powell’s side won 33-32 in the fourth period of Golden Point extra-time after Gareth O’Brien’s 99th-minute drop goal set up a quarter-final tie with Salford Red Devils.

It was a remarkable game that saw Castleford trail 22-6 at half-time and 32-18 in the 70th minute, only to see brilliant Man of Steel Paul McShane set up Jordan Turner’s match-levelling try after the final hooter.

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In extra-time, fatigued Tigers had eight attempts at a drop-goal before O’Brien finally got it right.

It was former England centre Shenton’s 401st career game and he had never experienced anything like it. He said: “The whole game was a rollercoaster. We didn’t start well but credit to Hull KR for what they did to us. They were full of energy and we weren’t quite on our game, especially on our ruck defence. They have really energetic hookers who caused us no end of trouble.

“But the character and never-say-die attitude shown to get back from where we were was incredible really.

“We’re all still not quite sure how we got back and won that game. We dominated extra-time but blew so many chances and Powelly did say we should have started going for a try after so many drop goals went wrong.

“Once you miss a drop goal, you know they’re going to get seven tackles and you’re going to have to charge down one at the other end.

Classic: Jake Trueman scores the Tigers' first try in the thrill-a-minute BetFred Challenge Cup thrird round win over Hull KR. Picture Bruce Rollinson

“Rovers didn’t go wide so we were just screaming at our middles what to do as they were just making so many tackles. We were telling them where Jordan Abdull was and they did a great job shutting him down. There was really frustrating parts but the relief to get through was incredible.”

“And some of the stats from players like Paul McShane, Jake Trueman and Oli Holmes were just amazing.”

On Salford, Shenton said: “It’s a month down the road so we’ve a lot of rugby still to be played but to have a chance of going into the semis, we’ve put ourselves in a good spot. It showed Friday it doesn’t matter who you play, you just have to win.”

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At last: Gareth O'Brien celebrates scoring the 99th-minute golden point drop goal to take Castleford Tigers through to the next round. Picture Bruce Rollinson