In one of those little quirks that sometimes occur, though, both sides had a player awaiting big news.
Congratulations to Nathan Massey and his wife Jemma, who saw the arrival of their baby Rebal just before 11am on the day of the game.
Understandably, having been up since the early hours, the Castleford loose-forward did not feature at Emerald Headingley.
How they missed his industry, steeliness and work-rate as the French side eventually took such firm control.
However, it later emerged that the wife of Catalans centre Israel Folau is also due to give birth and, according to his head coach, Steve McNamara, he almost did not get on the plane for the trip.
How Castleford will have wished he had opted to stay in the south of France; the dual-code Australian international was simply phenomenal in Leeds.
Folau, 31, came up with a series of stellar, world-class plays to help initially overhaul Tigers’ 14-0 lead and then leave them staring at a sobering defeat.
Already a controversial signing given his past comments on social media, he caused a further furore the previous Sunday by not taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement when Catalans restarted with a dismal 34-6 defeat to St Helens.
Folau did the same on Saturday but, this time, team-mates Sam Moa and Benjamin Jullien also opted to join him.
It was Castleford who started brightest, though, with captain Michael Shenton crossing for two tries, both converted by Danny Richardson, who also added a penalty before Folau showed his first sign of brilliance to get on the outside of Shenton and send Tom Davies speeding in.
But, at 14-4, Tigers – also without leading prop Liam Watts owing to a bizarre saw accident – had a glorious chance to take firm control on the half-hour mark.
Jesse Sene-Lefao spilled a rudimentary pass when James Clare was waiting to capitalise and it proved the turning point
Instead of potentially being 20-4 ahead, in the next set, Castleford centre Peter Mata’utia was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Samson Langi and Alrix Da Costa exposed some ordinary goalline defence to burrow over.
James Maloney slotted the first of six kicks and Catalans scored back to back when the elegant Folau eased clear of Shenton once more from halfway and then bumped off hapless full-back Greg Eden to finish a magical effort.
Suddenly, with prop Sam Kasiano also having such an influence off the bench, McNamara’s side were 16-14 ahead at the break.
Nevertheless, Castleford will still be maddened this morning at seeing how the game then got away from them given yet more needless, self-inflicted pain.
Derrell Olpherts made a horrendous error as he tried to escape from behind his own goalline, throwing the ball to no-one at the start of the second period, meaning Ben Garcia has never scored a simpler try. Yet, even then the Tigers had a perfect opportunity to respond only to err once more, Clare this time making a hash of things failing to collect Jake Trueman’s well-spotted chip to the corner.
It summed up their day; Trueman had also fumbled close to the Catalans line and on the first tackle after his side had been awarded a ‘six again’ call and there was not enough poise at the crucial moments. That, of course, can be explained in part to this being their first game in five months but coach Daryl Powell was still left irritated.
He could only watch as Folau rose majestically to take a kick and feed Joel Tomkins for another try before Tigers somehow strayed offside attempting a short restart offering Folau the chance to also stylishly put Davies in for his second. Jason Baitieri then rounded things off. On the positive, it was a welcome sight seeing Alex Foster successfully play his first game in 18 months after injury while Tyla Hepi and Jacques O’Neill both brought punch off the bench.
Eden, the previously prolific winger who had fallen down the pecking order before lockdown, got first chance at replacing the departed Jordan Rankin at full-back but gave a mixed display.
The same could not be said about the genius Folau.
Castleford Tigers: Eden; Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Clare; Trueman, Richardson; Griffin, McShane, Millington, McMeeken, Holmes, Milner. Substitutes: Sene-Lefao, Foster, O’Neill, Hepi.
Catalans Dragons: Mourgue, Davies, Folau, Langi, Yaha; Maloney, Drinkwater; Bousquet, Garcia, Moa, Whitley, J Tomkins, Casty. Substitutes: Da Costa, Jullien, Baitieri, Kasiano.
Referee: R Hicks (Oldham).
Editor’s note: First and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.
Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.
And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.
Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.
If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.
Sincerely. Thank you. James Mitchinson, Editor