Super League side Castleford Tigers were beaten 18-0 by Championship opponents Dewsbury Rams as both sides ended their pre-season campaign in wet and windy conditions at the Tetley’s Stadium.
A mix and match Tigers team of several first teamers alongside untried youngsters and players looking to force their way into head coach Daryl Powell’s plans for the start of the season found it tricky from the outset.
The hosts adapted better to the testing conditions and led from the tenth minute before defending their lead well to deny Cas any points in either half,
Castleford suffered an early blow when forward Nathan Massey, in his return to action after injury, slipped on the muddy pitch and picked up a groin injury that led to him going off after only five minutes.
Dewsbury opened the scoring shortly after when Joel Farrell went over from dummy-half after Jordan Tansey had fumbled in trying to deal with a low kick.
Tom Hemingway added the conversion to make it 6-0.
Both sides struggled to control the greasy ball in the awful conditions, but the Rams did manage to cross again on the half-hour as Tommy Gallagher spun out of a tackle to score a try against goaled by Hemingway.
Cas looked to hit back, but it stayed 12-0 to the break with Tansey and Ashley Gibson both denied by good home defence.
With the wind behind after the break better things were expected of the Tigers, but they had a young side on the pitch by this stage and struggled to make the headway expected.
It was Dewsbury who came up with the only score of the half when Scott Hale charged over for a try converted by Jordan Grayston.
Castleford’s unbeaten pre-season record had been dented and while they have a whole team of players they can bring in the performance will have given boss Powell some things to think about while giving the Rams a boost before they start their important season in the Championship.
Scorers - Dewsbury: Tries Farrell, Gallagher, Hale; goals Hemingway 2, Grayston.
Dewsbury: Sheriff; Morton, Pryce, Grady, Scott; Hemingway, Thackerey; Nash, Godwin, Hepworth, Spicer, Hale, Brown. Subs: Lillycrop, Haggarty, Hyde, Gallagher, Wright, Farrell, Grayston.
Castleford: Tansey; Howden, Channing, Gibson, Owen; Seymour, Ellis; Fleming, Milner, Martin, Mariano, Day, Massey. Subs: Reynolds, T Holmes, Maher, Ellerington, Foster, B Westerman.
Referee: C Leatherbarrow.