Castleford coach Craig Lingard dubs Tigers performance “embarrassing”

Aaron Bower
Craig Lingard

Castleford Tigers head coach Craig Lingard

Craig Lingard described his Castleford Tigers side’s performance as “embarrassing” after they fell to the bottom of the early Super League table with a heavy defeat at home to Huddersfield Giants.

The Tigers conceded 50 points against Ian Watson’s men to remain winless so far in 2024, having lost all four of their league fixtures so far under Lingard. And the new Castleford coach didn’t hold back when asked to sum up his side’s performance, insisting they were way off where he had hoped they would be.

He said: “Embarrassing at times, I thought we were really poor. All the talk and the prep this week before the game was to start strong but we lost out in every department. We based our pre-season and training on effort-based stuff, and it just wasn’t there.

“Our lack of composure or our decision-making with what to do at times was really, really poor. We came in at half-time, gave them a rocket and we start the second half like we were meant to start the first.

“We showed a bit of passion, a bit of will to want to play and win the game and then we came up with another poor decision-making effort where we’ve thrown the ball to nobody, and the last 15 was poor and embarrassing.”

Lingard did reserve some praise for prop Albert Vete, who marked his first Castleford appearance of the season with a promising display – and Lingard admitted he was one of a handful to emerge from the heavy defeat with some praise.

He said: “He came on and gave us a bit of spark, did Alby. I’m pleased he got back out there and got some minutes in the tank. He’s one of the few players who put their hand up.

“The massive disappointment is that we’ve spoke about it’s not going to be a quick fix and we want to respect the town of Castleford, and people will respect that if you go out and put a shift in. That performance doesn’t represent me as a coach, it doesn’t represent the group we’ve built, it’s nothing like us.”

Matters don’t get any easier for the Tigers either, with a daunting trip to Perpignan next weekend to face Catalans Dragons.

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