Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity both enjoyed positive results on what was a busy day of pre-season friendlies.
Castleford Tigers 42 – 10 Hull FC (Att. 5,106)
For the past couple of seasons there has been a good feeling around the Mend-A-Hose Jungle. The Castleford Tigers were on the fringe of making the top four last season and many predict a successful 2017 for the club.
Today’s impressive display over the Challenge Cup holders has reaffirmed these predictions and with a number of new additions to the team, many supporters are growing with excitement ahead of the upcoming season.
The returning Greg Eden was particularly impressive. The 26-year-old marked his return to Castleford with a hat-trick as his side went on the claim the inaugural Harrison-Bryan trophy in fine style.
Greg Minikin, Zak Hardaker, Mike McMeeken, Tuoyo Egodo and Luke Million also got their name on the score-sheet as Castleford made a strong statement of intent in their first game of pre-season.
Leeds Rhinos 6 – 30 Wakefield Trinity (Att. 10,337)
Wakefield Trinity claimed victory at the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge following a surprise win over local rivals Leeds Rhinos at Headingley.
Tom Johnstone bagged a hat-trick on what was a solid performance from Chris Chester’s side. Reece Lyne, Michael Sio and Joe Arundel also got points on the board for Wakefield who will be hoping to build on a relatively successful 2016.
For Leeds it was a disappointing defeat in front of their own fans. One of the few positives from the match came in the 70th minute when new signing, Jack Ormondroyd, scored on his debut.
While there is still a lot of time until the start of the new season, Brian McDermott will be hoping his side can find their feet sooner rather than later and avoid another appearance in the Qualifiers, come the end of the regular season.
Elsewhere, the Batley Bulldogs picked up a 28-18 win over the Dewsbury Rams. This was Matt Diskin’s first win as the new head coach of Batley Bulldogs since taking over from the departing John Kear.
Featherstone Rovers were also winners on Boxing Day following a 38-14 victory over Halifax at the Shay. Despite a quick start form the home side, Featherstone enjoyed a strong end to the game and sealed an impressive away win.
By Sebastian Sternik