Castleford Tigers 25 Hull KR 4 - Roberts turns on the class

Castleford's Frankie Mariano scores
Castleford's Frankie Mariano scores
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Ben Roberts produced his best Castleford Tigers display yet to inspire a fine win over Hull KR.

The Samoa stand-off, 29, has struggled to nail down a regular place since joining from Melbourne Storm last winter.

He has been behind Liam Finn in the pecking order and used sometimes off the bench as hooker.

But silky Roberts - who scored his first try for the club in Easter Monday’s win at Warrington - controlled the show tonight as his creativity and tactical kicking ruthlessly ended Rovers’ three-match winning run.

The visitors were never allowed to get a grip against Daryl Powell’s side who were well led by the powerful Nathan Massey, Andy Lynch and Frankie Mariano up front allowing Luke Gale and Roberts to pull the strings.

Castleford now replace their East Yorkshire opponents in fifth spot and there was only really one setback - the loss of Australian winger Justin Carney to a dislocated elbow early in the second period.

Powell said: “Our attitude to defend was sensational and we look like we’re a tough team to break down.

“It’s growing all the time and we’re pretty resolute.

“They got a try early on but I don’t think they looked like scoring after that - and they’ve been blowing teams away recently.

“We weren’t fantastic at times, but Benny did come up with some real flashes.

“His game and his confidence is growing all the time.

“Obviously, the big dampener is what happened to Justin Carney.

“He’s dislocated his elbow and it’s looked like he’s broken bones in there, so it’s not a good one.

“But we won’t have a full prognosis until after he gets back from the hospital and, otherwise, we were superb.”

Rovers had gone ahead inside four minutes when winger Ken Sio - one of four recalled by Chris Chester after being rested for Easter Monday’s win over Huddersfield Giants - scored his ninth try of the winger following a brilliant pass from Darrell Goulding.

But the hosts responded when Roberts, a constant attacking presence with his running, evaded their defenders to supply Jordan Tansey, Gale adding the first of his four conversions.

Rovers saw Albert Kelly depart after the scrum-half got a finger in the eye as Carney fended him off.

He returned later and came up with some decent kicks but he and half-back partner Terry Campese, so impressive in 2015, were well-contained.

Roberts picked up a wayward pass to dance across field and give Tansey a shot after half hour, Gale scoring after the full-back’s pass hit the floor following an attempted intervention from Hull KR winger Josh Mantellato.

Loose forward Massey, whose work rate was immense, then marked his 100th Super League game by twisting out of Shaun Lunt’s poor tackle for his first try in nine months.

Josh Mantellato bombed a rare Rovers chance with seconds of the half remaining to leave his side trailing 18-4.

The loss of Carney as the giant Australian winger tried muscling over early in the second period did not deter Castleford.

But Gale added a drop goal after 60 minutes and then converted as ex-Rover Mariano, who was particularly dominant with some powerful defence, surged over for his first try of the season.

Chester said: “We didn’t get going, we had no energy whatsoever.

“We were outplayed from the first minute to the last, and in truth, the best team won.

“Easter is a tough period; to play three games in ten days is hard but it’s no excuse.

“We just weren’t good enough, they seemed to run harder and tackle harder than what we did throughout.

“Alby came off and we lost Darrell Goulding to a head injury which affected us a bit, but we didn’t deserve to get anything out of the game.

“Castleford created the better opportunities and had plenty of chances to put even more points on us than the ones they did.”

Castleford Tigers: Tansey; Gibson, Channing, Shenton, Carney; Robert, Gale; Lynch, Moore, Wheeldon, Holmes, Mariano, Massey. Replacements: Milner, Millington, Jewitt, Boyle.

Hull KR: Dixon; Sio, Goulding, Welham, Mantellato; Campese, Kelly; Walker, Lunt, Allgood, Larroyer. Horne, McCarthy. Replacements: Cockayne, Ollett, Green, Burke.

Referee: Ben Thaler

Luke Gale.

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