Leigh 0 Castleford Tigers 38: Eden grabs another hat-trick in stunning win

Jake Webster of Castleford Tigers celebrates scoring a try
Jake Webster of Castleford Tigers celebrates scoring a try
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ANOTHER day - or, more precisely, another minute - and yet another Greg Eden story.

The prolific Castleford Tigers winger took his tally to 28 tries in just 17 games this season as the Super League leaders obliterated Leigh Centurions.

However, they are the rudimentary facts; Eden also scored a hat-trick - he finished with four tries - for the FOURTH successive match which could be a record in itself.

Furthermore, his treble came in the space of barely five minutes between the 33rd and 38th minute.

That is the fastest Super League hat-trick yet, usurping Huddersfield Giants’ Scott Grix who took eight minutes 51 seconds to notch his at Wakefield in 2015.

Eden’s latest feat, though, is also thought to be quickest in the history of the sport, eclipsing Kiwi star Shaun Johnson who skipped over for three tries in six minutes 30 seconds when playing for New Zealand Warriors versus Canberra Raiders in 2013.

For all his own accolades, however, this was yet another impressive team performance from Daryl Powell’s side who - despite losing forwards Matt Cook and Adam Milner to worrying injuries - strengthened their position at the top of the table.

Having defeated Widnes on Friday, they were initially made to work hard here by the competition’s bottom side who were competitive throughout the first period until Eden began his spree just before the break.

Leigh had picked up their first ever away win in Super League at Hull FC on Friday and that had clearly instilled them with confidence.

They attacked with force and defended well, too, but could not break down Castleford’s steely resolve.

Instead, the visitors went ahead via Jesse Sene-Lefao’s bizarre 15th minute try, the second-row finding himself unusually surging down the left wing - instead of Eden - and then delicately grubbering infield for Luke Gale, the England scrum-half who passed back to his forward to finish.

Gale added the first of his five goals and added another when Sene-Lefao shrugged off Corey Paterson’s poor tackle attempt to score in the 23rd minute.

Leigh were unlucky not to respond when Eloi Pelisier dived over from dummy half soon after but video referee Robert Hicks deemed the French hooker had used team-mate Antoni Maria as a foil and ruled it out.

It proved a turning point; not long after, Eden crossed for his first after Gale saw the ball knocked out of his hands by Ben Reynolds but Sene-Lefao flicked the loose ball on for Michael Shenton to feed his winger.

In the next set, former Castleford second-row Danny Tickle was penalised for stealing possession illegally, providing position for Eden to brilliantly take Gale’s high pass one-handed and finish in the corner.

Shenton broke clear from the next re-start for the 26-year-old to complete his historic treble and suddenly Leigh were 28-0 down at the break.

Their centre Ben Crooks - on a season-long loan from Tigers - was sin-binned in the 48th minute for a “cannonball” tackle on Cook.

They scored in the resultant set. Even when Gale’s pass went to ground, Shenton turned it into another assist for Eden.

Milner, the in-form loose forward, was injured soon after, though, and had to helped off in agony.

That saw Kevin Larroyer, the France second-row, make his debut for Castleford and he looked solid having patiently waited for his chance this term.

Jake Webster and Mike McMeeken combined to stop Jamie Acton breaching Castleford’s line - McMeeken stopped Atelea Vea similarly in the first period, too - before Webster crossed at the other end to complete the victory.

Leigh Centurions: McNally; Dawson, Crooks, Flemming, Brown; Reynolds, Drinkwater; Acton, Hood, Burr, Paterson, Vea, Stewart. Substitutes: Pelissier, Tickle, Maria, Hopkins.

Castleford Tigers: Hardaker; Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Eden; Roberts, Gale; Millington, McShane, Massey, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Milner. Substitutes: Moors, Cook, T Holmes, Larroyer.

Referee: Chris Kendall (Widnes)

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