Of Cougars and Tigers

Here in the depths of summer, the number of rugby matches I’m able to attend and photograph is much reduced. With commitments elsewhere including weddings, cycle races, paint throwing festivals and other activity days out, time spent on the touchline is at a minimum.

Macauley Hallet, try bound

However, there is rugby league and over the last month I’ve been able to photograph my local side, Keighley Cougars, and ace women’s team the mighty Castleford Tigers. Both games were open attacking affairs with much running and passing, yielding a number of pleasing photographs for me.

Probably my favourite picture from the day - Jack Miller diving over to score

The Cougars game was against the league’s bottom club, North Wales Raiders. It was Gay Pride day at Cougar Park; much celebrating and a rainbow coloured commemorative kit for the players.

Benn Hardcastle - tries and points with the boot

Keighley News has a much longer report but the good times continued on the pitch as Keighley ran in tries down left, right and centre, amassing 50 points. The victory moved them three points clear of their opponents on the league table - not bad for a side which began at -12 following a somewhat chaotic close season.

A hat trick of tries for Jack Miller

Prior to this, on the last weekend of June, I visited the home of Featherstone Rovers to see their fixture with Castleford Tigers Women. I was really impressed with Featherstone’s ground, a cosy mix of old and new, with a good number of spectators, several of whom had been involved in a junior match prior to the main event.

Kelsey Gentles - First half try coming up for Cas

Cas are having a great season; riding high in the league and also Challenge Cup finalists. Although Featherstone defended well and scored 20 points, they were overwhelmed by the pace and strength of the visitors’’ attack. The final score was 20-46; another convincing victory for Castleford Tigers.

Georgia Roche evades a tackle before racing over to score

Unusually, the eight tries which Castleford scored were notched up by eight different players. You can read a much more detailed report on the Tigers’ website.

I’ve been lucky to photograph the Tigers again more recently, this time playing at home. More of that in a future post and good luck to them in their upcoming final.

Tamzin Renouf - an early try scorer

You can see more pictures of these games and others in the ickledot shop.