General Cas Tigers v Widnes Vikings


Thats how the NL1 Final is going to pan out. We beat Widnes in the semi-final last week to go straight through to the final being played at Leeds. Widnes beat Halifax tonight (or morning to you guys) to qualify to the final.
Cheers us on next Sunday!
Thought id drop by and post a vid of one of Awen's tries (Its the only one I can find that he scored! He doesnt score much!). He helped us get to a mammoth score of 106-0 against Rochdale a couple of weeks ago!
(Ignore the commentator, hes got a proper yorkshire accent! He's got nicknames for each and every player. Guttenbeil is ''Paddles'' :der:)
haha! i couldnt understand him. it was like someone was holding his nose. was a guy there called skid marks!lol cheers danny
Awesome stuff, Danny, commentator aside!

Good luck for the final and a possible promotion to the ESL top level! :D
Good luck Cas Tigers, always had a soft spot for them since Tookey played there and can see why Awen didn't reneg on his deal.
haha! i couldnt understand him. it was like someone was holding his nose. was a guy there called skid marks!lol cheers danny

''Skid Marks'' is Mark Leafa. A samoan international.
Cheers for the well wishes!
go the cas tigers who should never have been down in n1 due to wigan cheating the cap. hope you guys can get back up into super league where you belong
Is Awen playing for Cas at all?

He's been playing all year I'm sure. He had an out clause if Cas got relegated last year which they did no thanks to Wigans flouting of the salary cap, but he chose to stay with Cas anyway, good on him.

Former New Zealand international Awen Guttenbeil will discover around 8pm on Sunday night whether his huge gamble in coming to England has paid off.
The vastly-experienced forward agreed to join Castleford from New Zealand Warriors while they were still in Super League and looking good to stay there.
But the Tigers' fortunes took a horrid late-season twist and he had to think long and hard before committing himself to the club once their relegation fate was sealed.
In the end, he decided to fulfil his obligations and is now hoping to reap the rewards by helping Castleford regain their Super League status at the expense of Widnes in tomorrow's Co-operative National League One Grand Final at Headingley.
"Promotion and relegation is not something I've experienced before and probably when I signed I didn't really understand how big a deal it is," Guttenbeil said.
"It is a huge challenge and I enjoy challenges. When I decided to come to Castleford, it was to get into this game and play my part in getting the club back into Super League.
"It was a big decision to come. There were a lot of other options but I chose to come here.
"Part of it was that I get to dabble in the coaching side of things and I've enjoyed that this year.
"I guess on Sunday I'll let you know whether it was the right decision or not.
"It's been more challenging than I thought, probably mentally, to play at this level every week. It gets frustrating at times because you take a step back to try to develop the team.
"But the last couple of months is when we've been wanting to peak and I've really enjoyed the last two months."
Promotion and relegation issues are nothing new to Vikings coach Steve McCormack, who was sacked by Salford when they were facing the drop in 2001.
He will be involved in a fourth successive League One Grand Final, having twice taken Whitehaven to the brink of Super League before losing out with Widnes 12 months ago when they were beaten by Hull KR.
McCormack, who was just 28 when he coached Salford in Super League, knows he may not get another chance at the big time, with automatic promotion and relegation set to be scrapped to make way for a system of Super League licenses in 2009.
Sunday's game has been dubbed a £1million decider because of the annual pay-out from television revenue but, with a three-year franchise virtually guaranteed for the winners, victory will be priceless.
"The players aren't daft," said McCormack. "They know what it means to the club and themselves to get back in the top flight.
"But we've got to concentrate on the performance rather than the occasion - if you analysed it too much you wouldn't come out of your bedroom, you'd be too frightened!"
The Tigers, who beat McCormack's Whitehaven in their only previous League Grand Final two years ago, are marginal favourites to bounce back once more at the first attempt but Widnes were the last team beat them and honours are even in their head-to-head clashes with Widnes this season.
"I think they're coming into the final in some good form," said McCormack. "They beat us two or three weeks ago but these are one-off games.
"In the four games we played, they've all been small margins. Castleford have been great at the back end of the year but they know they've got to play well to beat us."
Sunday's action gets under way at 1pm, with the Rugby League Conference final between holders Bramley and Featherstone Lions, who will set the scene for the League Two promotion-decider between Featherstone Rovers and Oldham.

Head coach Terry Matterson has an injury-free 20-man squad at his disposal for arguably the biggest game in Castleford's 81-year history.
As well as a £1m-plus pay-day from television money and increased sponsorship, there is increasing speculation that the twelve clubs in next year's elite competition will be at the front of the queue when Super League licences are handed out for 2009.
And the importance of Sunday's promotion showdown at the Headingley Carnegie Stadium is not lost on head coach Matterson and his players.
"It's different circumstances, but it's got to be up there with last year's game at Wakefield. The stakes are just as high," said the Cas boss. "I think it's bigger than the NRL Grand Final and the Super League Grand Final - those guys lose they've had a success but they've got contracts and they're playing again next year. This is massive.
"Awen Guttenbeil touched on it. He's played an NRL Grand Final but says this is a bigger game than that - you've got to take notice when you hear comments like that.
"It was always going to be about the last game. No-one's going to care about what happened before. People might say we'd had a successful season but I'd say we need to win on Sunday."
Matterson insists this year's Grand Final preparations are in stark contrast the build-up to last year's relegation decider.
"Obviously, not everything's gone to plan all season but having a couple of hiccups hasn't hurt us and there's no way we're going to be complacent this week. Compared with last year, our team is so much healthier and we've had a perfect preparation for the game.
"It's a long time since we played but we got a heap of work in them and I'm comfortable where we're at."
Matterson has named a 20-strong squad for Sunday's game. It is the 17 who beat Widnes last time out - Stuart Donlan, Michael Wainwright, Kirk Dixon, Michael Shenton, Danny Williams, Anthony Thackeray, Danny Brough; Liam Higgins, Andy Henderson, Ryan Clayton, Awen Guttenbeil, Joe Westerman, Peter Lupton, Ryan McGoldrick, Chris Charles, Ryan Boyle and Mark Leafa - plus Dwayne Barker, Tere Glassie and Craig Huby.

The Tigers are marginal favourites to bounce back once more at the first attempt but honours are even in their head-to-head clashes with Widnes this season and assistant coach Awen Guttenbeil admits the whole season could come down to which team best holds their nerve.

"If you sit down and think what's on the line - guys' careers and what it means to the club - it's a huge responsibility but you can't let that affect your preparation and your performance," said the former New Zealand international who will be playing in the second row on Sunday.

"It's about playing the game not the occasion, we've spoken about that. As a team this is the biggest stage we're going to get to play on this year and it's about performing for the 80 minutes that counts."

Despite being the odds-on favourites, Matterson is seeking an improved performance after identifying frailties against Widnes last Thursday.
"There are areas we need to work on. We coughed up a heap of cheap ball and made a lot of one-on-one mistakes - that made it difficult for us, especially in the first half.
Cheap errors
"When we control field position we control the game and our kicking game was really good for the majority. But cheap errors on play one and play two were a concern. The ferocity of the defence could have been a factor but if you carry the ball, it's also your job to come up with it.
"We did take our chances better than they did but it's all to be done again and next time it's the big one. Our form will count for something and confidence is a big thing - even though that can turn round for both sides - but we've worked hard to get to this stage and now it's the best man wins.
"Watching the Super League games at the weekend showed how important playing for 80 minutes is. Games will never be won by the 50 or 60-minute mark and even with ten minutes to go against Widnes on Thursday, when we were leading by 18, I didn't feel safe. You've got to be more than three scores ahead these days.
"I was really pleased we didn't let a cheap try in at the end when we gave up a heap of cheap ball.
"Guttenbeil was fantastic, among a host of them, but he's not our only experienced guy. I thought Chris Charles steadied us and Stuart Donlan did a really good job at the back. And Michael Shenton's defence was really good for us."
Castleford have been linked with players both home and abroad as they look to build for 2008. The club is understood to have sounded out Salford pack duo Michael Korkidas and Mark Edmondson, Brisbane's Brad Thorn and Canterbury pair Brent Sherwin and Adam Perry.
Found at:

Castleford 42-10 Widnes

Castleford skipper Andrew Henderson celebrates victory
Castleford: (13) 42
Tries: Wainwright, McGoldrick, Guttenbeil 2, Shenton, Westerman, Clayton
Goals: Brough 6
Drops: Brough 2

Widnes: (4) 10
Tries: Nanyn, Wilkes
Goals: Nanyn

Castleford Tigers secured a quick return to Super League after beating Widnes in the National League One Grand Final at Headingley.

Terry Matterson's side enjoyed the bulk of first-half possession but only held a 13-4 interval lead.

But they ran riot after the break with Awen Guttenbeil going over twice and Michael Shenton, Joe Westerman and Ryan Clayton also scoring.

Danny Brough, who is leaving the club to join Wakefield, kicked 14 points.

The former Hull half-back was involved in five of the Tigers' seven tries and was a unanimous choice for man of the match.

Castleford's record score eclipsed their 36-8 rout of Whitehaven in the 2005 final and coach Matterson admitted his side's performance was close to perfection.

"Danny Brough was outstanding but he couldn't have done it without the platform laid by the forwards, who were magnificent," he said.

"We've had a couple of ups and downs this year but it's about getting it right for this game. We've worked hard for 12 months for this performance. "We can now put the demons of the last 12 months behind us and move on."

But there was plenty of sympathy for the Widnes players who suffered final heartbreak for the second successive season after losing to Hull KR 12 months ago.

It was also a disappointing day for Vikings coach Steve McCormack who has now lost four Grand Finals in a row, having experienced defeat with Whitehaven in 2004 and 2005.

"We saved our worst performance for the most important game of the season," he admitted. "It's hard for anybody associated with Widnes to take. "Castleford were far superior from the first second to the last. I thought they were fantastic."

Meanwhile, Featherstone will join champions Celtic Crusaders in National League One next season after beating Oldham 24-6 in the League Two play-off final.

Centre Wayne McHugh scored two of his side's three tries as Rovers secured promotion after two years in the bottom division.


Castleford: Donlan, Williams, Shenton, McGoldrick, Dixon, Thackery, Brough, Higgins, Henderson, Guttenbeil, Westerman, Clayton, Lupton.
Replacements: Leafa, Charles, Wainwright, Boyle.

Widnes: Grix, Blanch, Kohe-Love, Nanyn, Dodd, Moran, Penny, Cassidy, Smith, Wilkes, Tomkins, Noone, Beswick.
Replacements: Summers, James, Webster, Doran.

Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington)

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