Castleford Tigers ran in 12 tries as they saw off Sheffield Eagles 60-16 to stroll into this evening’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-final draw.
Eagles have won the past two Kingstone Press Championship Grand Finals, but were no match for a Tigers side who played well within themselves for most of a one-sided clash.
Though Eagles scored first in each half they had neither the size, power nor ability to cause Cas major problems.
Cas led 36-4 at the interval, despite Kirk Dixon missing six of his eight shots at goal and they got a bit sloppy in the second period, allowing Eagles to get through the game with pride intact.
Tigers boss Daryl Powell – a former Sheffield player and coach – said: “I thought they were great, they really challenged us with some tricky stuff.
“We were good when we needed to be. There was a big chunk of the first half when we took the game away from them, but we were a bit sloppy in the second half.
“Sheffield scored a couple of tries in the second half which we were disappointed about, but it is job done and that’s the main thing. We are in the next round.”
There was one minor alarm for Tigers right at the start of the game, when Scott Turner touched down to give Eagles a 4-0 lead.
Their advantage lasted just three minutes until Justin Carney rampaged over and he added a rapid second, with Grant Millington and Ashley Gibson – with his first try for the club – also crossing inside the opening quarter.
Cas had to wait until the 28th minute for their next try, Dixon stretching over for a try to celebrate his return from a broken jaw suffered in the win over Wigan Warriors at the start of March.
That sparked another flurry for Cas as Jamie Ellis, Daryl Clark and Carney all went in before the break to make it 36-4.
Eagles started the second half in a similar manner to the first, Duane Straugheir touching down and Dominic Brambani – a former Cas player – adding the extras. But it was business as usual after that, despite Eagles actually managing to complete a couple of tackles on the rampaging Carney.
Jordan Tansey got Tigers moving again on 52 and Ellis scrambled a touchdown before Oliver Holmes showed blistering pace to dash through a gap from 30 metres out.
To their credit Sheffield didn’t run up the white flag and they pulled a try back on 68 when Tom Ashton crossed and Brambani converted, then Jordan Burke got over, but was held up.
Carney – who got some good service from full-back Tansey – scored his fourth try and Tigers’ 12th late on.
Marc Sneyd took over kicking duties after coming off the bench early in the second half and converted all four of Cas’ second half touchdowns.
Cas prop Craig Huby suffered an eye injury in the second half, but Tigers otherwise came through unscathed.
It was former Castleford captain Andy Henderson’s final appearance at the Jungle and thepopular hooker was cheered off by the crowd and his Eagles team-mates at the end.
Castleford Tigers: Tansey, Dixon, Gibson, Shenton, Carney, Ellis, Finn, Wheeldon, Milner, Huby, Holmes, Webster, Millington. Subs (all used) Sneyd, Massey, Clark, Mariano.
Sheffield Eagles: Laulu-Togage, Turner, Hanson, Straugheir, Burke, Walker, Brambani, Lillycrop, Henderson, Green, Garside, Aspinall, Taulapapa. Subs Davey, Blagbrough, Tagaloa, Ashton.
Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).