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Castleford Tigers: Craig Lingard blames heavy St Helens loss on club’s training routine

Castleford Tigers boss Craig Lingard

Craig Lingard has described last night’s hammering at the hands of St Helens as a “massive step back” with Castleford Tigers having folded defensively in the 60-4 romp against the Red Vee at The Jungle.

Entering the game after a draw against Leigh Leopards in which they fought back impressively, there was a sense of optimism for Castleford Tigers’ fans with their opponents having just been humbled by Hull KR.

Instead, it was the Tigers that got humbled with Saints putting on a show in the second half to rack up 52 unanswered points and win 60-4 as they returned to the tip of Super League.

As for Castleford Tigers, it’s a defeat that has been described as “a massive step back from where we’ve been” by Craig Lingard and the head coach was only getting started.

“Massive step back” – Craig Lingard fumes over Cas defeat to St Helens

Castleford Tigers head coach Craig Lingard

Credit: Imago Images

Heavy defeats to St Helens are part and parcel of being a Super League side but conceding 52 unanswered points in the second forty including 46 of those in the last 28 minutes is something that’s inexcusable. Those were the sentiments of Lingard as he spoke to the press lamenting the nature of the defeat.

“It’s a massive step back from where we’ve been over the last two or three a week,” he explained

He would then clarify what he meant, stating: “We’ve said all along it’s not going to be smooth but there’s no excuse for that. We know there’s going to be setbacks but it can’t be a massive leap back.

“We know that we’re going to take two or three steps forward every now and again, and we’re going to take a step or two back. You can’t have a massive leap back like that. To concede 52 points in the second half, is completely unacceptable.”

Thankfully for Castleford Tigers and eight of the twelve Super League sides, they don’t have a game next week as the Challenge Cup semi-finals take centre stage instead. However, for the Tigers, it won’t be plain sailing and recovery with Lingard now hinting that a lack of intensity in training could have been the reason for the team’s downfall.

‘Light’ training load the cause of Castleford Tigers’ collapse

Castleford Tigers

Credit: Imago Images

Lingard revealed that he had given the players a ‘light’ week to try and keep players fresh after their epic comeback to draw against Leigh Leopards, but it’s not something he’ll be doing again with the hammering at home ‘proof’ that Cas cannot do that again.

He said: “We’ve got to have a tough couple of weeks. We’ve just spoke about it there afterwards that we’ve looked after them this week. After the game last week, a bit of a shorter turnaround and a few sore bodies so we’ve looked after them coming into this game to try and keep them fresh. I think we’ve just proved that we can’t do that.

“We can’t have a week off. We can’t go light on these guys, we’ve got to train to high intensity and if it means that we break some people then we break them. We’ve got to train to a real high intensity because that’s how we’ve got to play if we’re not good enough and we’re nowhere near good enough to have a week off.”

In a brutal conclusion, Lingard stated: “Even if bodies are broken, we’ve still got to train that intensity and that’s proved that. We’ve done it (gone easier in training) twice this season; the first time was the week before the Huddersfield game and we dished that up, the second time we’ve done it is this week and we’ve dished that up. So we just proved that we can’t have a light week, so we’ve got to have heavy weeks.”

After the week off, Castleford Tigers will face Hull FC in a game that looks set to be a battle to see who avoids 11th place in Super League.

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