Over to West Yorkshire as Castleford Tigers roared their way to another successful season in the Betfred Super League.
Though they have not been able to repeat their dominance of 2017, Castleford remained a difficult side to play against.
Clearly evident considering they have multiple players receiving international calls as a result as we look back at how their 2019 fared.
Best Result: Castleford Tigers 44-12 Hull FC
Nearing the end of the regular season, with the race for the play-offs ever so tight did the Castleford Tigers record an impressive result over Hull FC to help clinch a place.
This was the fourth meeting between the two sides in 2019, with Hull having won the previous two, so the Tigers were due some vengeance.
Jacob Trueman starred with a hat-trick of tries, earning a Man of the Match award.
Further tries came from Matt Cook, Jordan Rankin, James Clare and Cheyse Blair, with Jamie Ellis adding eight goals.
All Hull could do was respond with tries through Masi Matongo and Jack Logan but they remained a well beaten outfit.
A heavy win over play-off rivals is always valuable, especially as it led to their success of reaching the final five at the cost of their opponents.
Worst Result: Hull Kingston Rovers 27-26 Castleford Tigers
Shifting from one of their meetings with a Hull club to the other as their trip to Hull Kingston Rovers was without a doubt one to forget.
Of course Hull KR did have their Super League status to play for so they obviously had incentive to put in that extra effort so full credit to them.
However, the manner of how it was won was cruel for Castleford.
The Robins led 12-0 early on with tries through Craig Hall and Adam Quinlan; however, the Tigers did overcome such a setback with scores through Peter Mata’utia, Rankin, Clare and future Robin Greg Minikin.
Five goals from Mata’utia gave them a 26-14 lead and they looked set for another win but it soon went pear-shaped.
Former Tiger Ben Crooks scored back-to-back tries to help the game into golden point extra-time and after a flurry of unsuccessful drop-goal attempts from both sides, Danny McGuire stepped up and slotted home, breaking the Tigers’ hearts once again.
A narrow, pulsating clash but one the Tigers could easily have avoided through better game management as it almost cost them their play-off place, something Daryl Powell won’t want repeating anytime soon.
Main Man: Liam Watts
No doubt at all, contesting the Man of Steel award, representing England in the inaugural Rugby League World Cup 9s was front-rower Liam Watts.
Watts has enjoyed a highly successful career and 2019 was arguably his greatest year.
The 29-year-old made the highest amount of offloads in the league with a total of 62.
He also managed 937 tackles, 3160 metres from 452 carries and 52 tackle busts too.
An outstanding effort from a player who has been vastly underrated over the years, finally getting the recognition he deserves and possibly more to follow.
Predicted 8th – Finished 5th
Credit where it is due, Castleford Tigers eventually defied expectation remained as contenders for silverware despite their setbacks.
With the now departed Luke Gale injured for the season before it began, the Tigers’ attacking options were limited.
However, one smart move after another, such as the addition of Rankin after swapping him for Joe Wardle gave them another half-back, and a very skilful one too.
His arrival and combinations with Trueman and Paul McShane enabled Castleford to pose a threat to all opposition throughout 2019.
Not only the players but also Powell deserves praise. Making the most of lesser resources than their rivals at the top and still able to get the best out of his players and the results were clearly evident.
He has built an impressive squad, which will be strengthened next season in what are exciting times ahead for Castleford.