Castleford Tigers’ 7 worst Super League starts analysed as class of 2024 make unwanted history

Aaron Bower
Batley Bulldogs, Castleford Tigers

Despite some promising signs on Thursday night, Castleford Tigers’ class of 2024 created an unwanted piece of history with their defeat to Leeds Rhinos.

For only the third time in the Super League era, Castleford have begun a season with six consecutive league defeats. It is the first time in exactly 20 years they have failed to win any of their first six league fixtures, with the last time coming in 2004 and the time before that in the second-ever Super League season of 1997.

Here’s a look at the seven worst starts in the summer era for Castleford – which now includes the 2024 campaign..

One win from six: four occasions (2022, 2013, 2012, 2008)

Victory against Leeds on Thursday would have been the fifth time in the summer era that Castleford had started the Super League season with just one win from their opening six games.

As recently as two seasons ago, Castleford did exactly that, making a slow start to life under Lee Radford. However, they rallied throughout the year to finish within a whisker of making the play-offs, missing out on the final day of the season at Leeds Rhinos.

That perhaps shows that a slow start isn’t entirely fatal: but the other occasions they’ve won just one of six are less encouraging. In 2008, they finished bottom of the table with just seven wins, and in 2012, they were joint-bottom with Widnes Vikings, winning just six of 27 all season.

in 2013, a slow start ultimately cost Ian Millward his job and led to the arrival of Daryl Powell, and Castleford did pick up nine wins that year, finishing 12th of 14 and just six points outside the play-offs.

TIGERS TRANSFERS: 5 off-contract Super League players Castleford could consider signing for 2025

No wins from six: three occasions (1997, 2004 and 2024)

The class of 2024 at Castleford have now joined a somewhat unwanted club with their sixth straight league defeat, something which has only happened on two previous occasions in the summer era.

The first was in 1997, when the Tigers began with six consecutive losses – however, they weren’t relegated that season, eventually finishing 10th, as Oldham Bears dropped down to the Championship.

Seven years later however, they weren’t as lucky. That sluggish start gave the Tigers too much work to do and they were ultimately relegated with just six wins to their name all season.

Their woes in attack this year however look even more disappointing when you weigh up their points scored tally to those previous two winless starts. In 1997, Castleford scored 120 points in six games, while in 2004, they scored 100.

This season? They have scored just 56 points, less than ten per game.

Of course, results alone won’t relegate Castleford this season – it will take more than that away from the field with IMG’s gradings. But it doesn’t make this start any easier to take, after creating an unwanted slice of history.

DERBY PREVIEW: An outrageously good combined XIII of St Helens and Wigan Warriors stars