Did this pundit predict Lee Radford’s sacking over 10 days ago?

Reaction to the news that Lee Radford and Castleford Tigers have parted ways continues this morning with many shocked at how early in the season it has come.

We’re only three rounds into the Super League season but it seems that the higher-ups at Castleford have seen enough and have decided to make a change.

For the time being Andy Last will be in charge at the Jungle, something the team made clear in their statement upon announcing Radford’s departure.

“Castleford Tigers can confirm that Lee Radford has been relieved of his First Team duties by mutual agreement.

“Everyone at the Club would like to thank Lee for his time in charge of the First Team.

“The Club’s Board of Directors will now begin the search for its next permanent Head Coach and would ask everyone to get behind Andy Last and the team in the interim period.

“Assistant Coach Andy Last will take charge of the First Team for the Fords’ upcoming fixture at Huddersfield Giants on Friday night.”

Radford himself made the following statement: “With the club and myself heading in different directions, I think making this early call will be the correct one. Hopefully, it can kick start their season starting this Friday away at Huddersfield.

“I’d like to thank on record the fans, management, coaching staff, and players and wish them all the best for 2023 and beyond.”

It comes after the former Hull FC coach guided the Tigers to a seventh place finish in his first season in charge, narrowly missing out on the playoffs after a final round defeat at Leeds Rhinos.

As for the current season a terrible first-half at Radford’s former club, Hull FC, saw them fall to defeat 32-30, despite their brave comeback efforts.

What followed were defeats to a jet-lagged St Helens, 24-6 at home, and then the biggest defeat of Radford’s Tigers’ tenure when Wigan won 36-0 on Friday evening.

That proved enough for his departure, but comments from over 10 days ago from Kyle Amor have surfaced in which the former Saint and current Widnes Viking prop tipped the Tigers for the drop.

“We’ve got a 12 team competition and for the first time in a long time I’m looking at player rosters and I’m thinking that there’s genuinely ten teams who can finish in the playoffs. That’s where it becomes difficult.”

Amor made the comments on the 5 Live Rugby League podcast and when prompted by host Dave Woods as to who the two sides that couldn’t make the playoffs were, Amor revealed his fears for Castleford.

“For me I think, it might be a bit out there, Castleford are in trouble. I don’t see Leigh in there. I think Castleford might be in there, I see them as an ageing squad.

“Yes they’ve brought some players in but something tells me they might struggle this year.”

They have certainly struggled so far, and with Leigh earning their first win on Friday and Wakefield putting in a far stiffer performance against a strong Huddersfield Giants side, it could be a case that Castleford are in with a strong chance of the drop.

It’s also worth noting that Amor made the comments after just one round of games, round one obviously being the game in which Castleford got closest to a win, making his bold claim even more impressive.

There’s still a long way until the end of the season but a three game losing start and the sacking of a head coach is certainly something that can lead to relegation form.

The Tigers also still have a gauntlet of fixtures to navigate as they travel to Huddersfield, host Leeds and Warrington and then travel to France to face Catalans.

It’s not unfeasible that the Tigers start their season without a win in seven, which makes their round eight clash at home to Wakefield all the more important.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments