Albert Vete and Liam Watts try and assess what went wrong for Castleford Tigers in Super League 2023

IF there was a disappointing team in Super League 2023 then it was Castleford Tigers.

With three head coaches and an overhaul of players, the Tigers only just survived relegation by the skin of their teeth.

Just six wins during the season was only dwarfed – in terms of how dismal – by Wakefield Trinity’s four and it was Trinity that dropped down to the Championship.

For Albert Vete, who too struggled with just six appearances to his name and a spell on loan at Doncaster, the problems cannot be pinned on just one issue.

“I don’t think I can think of one thing that was the sole reason why – I think it was multiple things happening,” Vete told League Express.

“We had a new group but it was an older group too. We had a disrupted pre-season with our coaches and we had a lot going on that we probably thought wouldn’t affect us until we got to the season and got some adversity. We didn’t know how to react.

“I think it became a snowball effect, it was a dark place. It’s not just as easy as getting a win and it’ll be alright. It seemed like the hard we we tried, the worse we were playing.

“That can happen in life too, you can try too hard and you can sometimes make things worse. I think we all needed to take a look at ourselves and see what we would do personally to get this club out of the slump it was in.”

For veteran Liam Watts, 2023 was a position in which he had never found himself in before.

“There was a lot of stuff on and off the field as a playing group and as a club. I’ve never been in that position in my career,” Watts told League Express.

“There were a few of us looking at each other and asking each other what was going on and how could we get out of the hole we were in. But, we couldn’t come up with answers and we just won the games we needed to stay in Super League.

“It’s probably a good job Wakefield were in the same situation which helped our cause. We played it how we had to play it to in the end to stay up which we managed to do.”

Now Watts is keen to get the Castleford fans back on side for 2024.

“The IMG grading, moving forward, will have a massive impact on clubs and it will go down to the wire who will be in Super League.

“We have to do our best and put a bit of ownership on ourselves. The fans pay to watch us week in, week out and we’ve got to give them a bit of justice and get them back on side with us this year.”

Click here to purchase a digital edition of League Express.

Click here to purchase an online edition of League Express through

Click here to listen to our new League Express Podcast.

League Express is widely available from local newsagents across the north of England.