Carney’s hat-trick slays the Dragons

Justin Carney
Justin Carney
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BLOCKBUSTING WINGER Justin Carney was too much of a handful for Catalan Dragons as Castleford Tigers continued their strong start to First Utility Super League at MAH Jungle.

BLOCKBUSTING WINGER Justin Carney was too much of a handful for Catalan Dragons as Castleford Tigers continued their strong start to First Utility Super League at MAH Jungle.

Carney scored a hat-trick of tries, set up another and had one disallowed – but his highlight was a powerful fend which left Dragons’ ex-Wigan prop Jeff Lima flat on his backside.

It was a dominant display by Cas and they were full value for their 32-6 victory over a Dragons side who have lost two from two going into Friday’s visit of Leeds Rhinos.

That’s their first at home, but they will have to improve on this ill-disciplined, disorganised display.

The penalty count of 12-5 in Cas’ favour was a fair reflection. It was only three-two at the break and Dragons’ continual offending gave them no chance of getting back into the game from 12-6 down.

Tigers defended strongly and scored six tries to one, beginning when Carney stomped over after seven minutes, following some clever play by Marc Sneyd, who is quietly proving to be an excellent acquisition.

The stand-off chipped over the top, re-gathered and slung out a wide pass to put his winger in. On 23, Weller Hauraki caught Dragons napping with a dart from acting half and Kirk Dixon, who was excellent on the right-flank, just had to make the catch and put the ball down.

Carney crossed again on 29 minutes from Jordan Tansey’s long ball, but referee Tim Roby ruled that one out, either for a forward pass or a foot in touch.

And as the Tigers fans were still voicing their frustration at that decision, Morgan Escare was crossing at the other end from a Leon Pryce pass, as the Wheldon Road end yelled “forward”.

Scott Dureau converted from the touchline, then missed with a long-range penalty after substitutes Scott Wheeldon and Eloi Pelissier – who had been on the field just seconds – were sin-binned for fighting.

Dragons are a team full of niggle and they also had an incident placed on report in the build-up to Carney’s try.

Various stoppages for lectures, treatment and time-wasting led to six minutes of added time and in the fifth of those, Carney grabbed his second try from Michael Shenton’s pass, after terrific build-up play by Daryl Clark. Carney narrowed the angle, but Dixon missed with his third conversion attempt so Sneyd took over the kicking after Cas’ fourth try, on 43. Carney made this one with a powerful run and offload to Shenton, whose excellent pass was finished by the impressive Tansey.

The conversion made it 18-6 and Sneyd added a penalty on 55 – Cas’ fourth in succession – to put them three scores clear.

The points were sealed in spectacular fashion with 10 minutes left when Clark – just back on the field – raced clear for a brilliant solo try from inside his own half, Sneyd converting.

And in the final seconds Carney plunged over for his third and Sneyd’s touchline goal completed the scoring.

Castleford Tigers: Tansey, Dixon, Channing, Shenton, Carney, Sneyd, Finn, Lynch, Clark, Huby, Holmes, Hauraki, Millington. Subs (all used): Milner, Mariano, Wheeldon, Fleming.

Catalan Dragons: Webb, Escare, Cardace, Pomeroy, Oldfield, Pryce, Dureau, Lima, Henderson, Bousquet, Taia, Whitehead, Mounis. Subs (all used): Pelissier, Maria, Paea, Baitieri.

Referee: Tim Roby (Preston).

Attendance: 5,104.

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