Castleford show why they are Super League leaders with demolition of hapless Widnes

Sports Staff
Matthew Cook's second-half try opened the floodgates: Reuters

Castleford regained top spot in Betfred Super League after scoring six tries in a 34-0 demolition of hapless Widnes.

The main damage was done in an 18-minute period before the break when the Tigers turned a goalless scoreline into a 22-point lead thanks to a combination of spectacular long-range efforts and simple, effective play.

Former York City Knights star Greg Minikin and former Brisbane Broncos wing Greg Eden both scored two tries in the rout.

They were the main beneficiaries of smart work from pivots Paul McShane, Luke Gale and substitute Ben Roberts, and some brilliant centre play from Michael Shenton.

They all had a hand in the Castleford four-pointers and were outstanding in every department, once again underlining Daryl Powell's side's silverware potential in 2017.

Widnes thought they had got off to a flying when after only five minutes Stefan Marsh touched down. But referee Jack Smith brought play back after ruling that Rhys Hanbury's decisive pass had drifted forward.

Widnes went close again through Danny Craven, but the Castleford defence was up to the task, carrying the diminutive half-back over the dead-ball line.

That was as good as it got for the Vikings as the visitors hit the high gears.

The first score of the afternoon came after 22 minutes when McShane set up Minikin up for a well-worked try on the right.

Castleford's Gale was screaming out for the pass from McShane but the wily hooker switched the play, catching Widnes on the hop, and the opportunity for the centre to crash over.

Gale smashed over the conversion from out wide to inch the Tigers a further two points ahead.

The Vikings had been decent value up to that point, but before long they found themselves trailing by three scores as Castleford turned the screw.

Minikin bagged his second, thanks to a brilliant break from Roberts which created the opening for Joel Monaghan to send him over.

The third was the ultimate in simplicity, as Gale fired a pass through the back line to put Shenton in for a walk over.

The try-scoring procession continued just before half-time as Gale hit Shenton with a speculator ball which the former England man tapped on to winger Eden.

Roberts was held up over the line for the first Castleford attack of the second half but the roaring Tigers did not have to wait too much longer as Matt Cook barged over from close range to increase the lead further.

Shenton put winger Eden in again with a masterful offload and at 34-0 it was a thrashing.

The mistake-ridden Vikings rallied slightly as they fought hard to prevent the whitewash but Castleford valiantly defended the zero.

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