Castleford Tigers boss Andy Last “devastated” by Catalans loss as he explains why Gareth Widdop didn’t play

CASTLEFORD TIGERS travelled to the south of France this weekend looking to win at the Stade Gilbert Brutus for the first time since 2017.

No one outside of the Castleford club really gave the West Yorkshire side a chance, but, they almost registered one of the victories of the season before going down 22-18 in the final minutes.

It would have been the Tigers’ second victory of the 2023 Super League season, but Mike McMeeken’s 74th minute effort for the Dragons settled proceedings.

For interim coach Andy Last, the result left him “devastated” but “proud” of his players.

“We’re absolutely devastated,” Last said.

“To come here to a quality side like Catalans, they are a difficult team to play against anywhere but here in Perpignan and we take them to the last couple of sets of the game.

“I am very proud of our players, but after all of our efforts we haven’t come away with the points and that’s what it’s all about.

“Our travelling support has been superb and they know the lads are trying hard.

“I did think we’d won the game when Jack Broadbent went 80 metres to score but we couldn’t quite see it out and that’s where we’re at against the best teams in the competition.”

The Castleford performance was all the mote impressive when considering that Last’s men suffered with illness, including halfback Gareth Widdop.

“We had a little bit of diarrhoea in camp while we were over here,” Last said.

“It could be the baguettes or French cheese, I don’t know, but some of the guys have had it really tough.”

“We had to isolate one or two of them, so to come away with that type of performance is a real credit to them.”