Castleford Tigers 38 Salford Red Devils 14: Eden injury blow tempers Cas joy on poignant night

Greg Eden
Greg Eden
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YET ANOTHER win for Super League leaders Castleford Tigers but one that came at a cost following a worrying injury to the prolific Greg Eden.

The in-form winger started his evening as he has done so many this season by scoring tries.

Tigers players Luke Gale and Paul McShane mob try scorer Ben Roberts.

Tigers players Luke Gale and Paul McShane mob try scorer Ben Roberts.

However, it was in the process of securing his second of the game – and 37th of the season – in the 24th minute, that the England hopeful suffered damage to his shoulder that left him in hospital last night.

Fortunately, head coach Daryl Powell had a like-for-like replacement with veteran former Australia winger Joel Monaghan on the bench.

He duly profited with two tries himself in the second-half as Castleford quickly extended their slender 18-10 interval lead to make sure of an 11th straight league win that sees them remain eight points clear at the top.

The victory saw Tigers gain some sort of revenge after Salford had beaten them back in March, one of only three defeats in 22 Super League games this term.

Applause for Stanley Rangers player Evan Hawksworth, who died this week.

Applause for Stanley Rangers player Evan Hawksworth, who died this week.

Castleford hooker Paul McShane showed remarkable courage, too, to play after the death this week of his cousin Evan Hawksworth.

There was a minute’s applause beforehand for the youngster who tragically passed away after suffering a head injury playing for Stanley Rangers Under 14s.

Eden scored his first with much more ease than that second, taking Luke Gale’s pass inside just four minutes but it did not immediately signal a points avalanche from the hosts.

It was Eden, in fact, who spilled a high kick soon after to gift Salford to cross themselves, Gareth O’Brien coming into the line and slipping over.

After McShane scooted close, Eden came close again - Castleford regularly attacked down his left side in the opening period – but this time Salford covered well.

Benny Roberts made a mockery of the visitors’ defence, though, the stand-off shrugging off Michael Dobson, then beating Josh Jones before swatting aside Dobson again and O’Brien to reach the line from 20m out.

Gale converted and extended Castleford’s lead with a 30th- minute penalty but Ian Watson’s side did respond soon after, Dobson improving Kris Welham’s try for 18-10.

Jy Hitchcox made a timely intervention at the start of the second period to deny Jake Bibby a try and that proved crucial as, soon after, Monaghan was over with Shenton’s help.

Shenton then made a searing break to send in Zak Hardaker although a brawl erupted in back play after Ben Murdoch-Masila cleaned out Gale with a late shot after the pass.

Bibby did cross in the 57th minute and it seemed a comeback could be on when Evalds scrambled over but that effort was ruled out by the video referee. Shenton supplied Monaghan with his second before Gale slotted a penalty. Weller Hauraki was sin-binned for a late tackle on Grant Millington.

Castleford Tigers: Hardaker; Hitchcox, Minikin, Shenton, Eden; Roberts, Gale; Millington, McShane, Sene-Lefao, Foster, McMeeken, Massey. Substitutes: Lynch, Springer, Monaghan, Larroyer.

Salford Red Devils: O’Brien; Bibby, Welham, Jones, Evalds; Carney, Dobson; Griffin, Tomkins, Murray, Murdoch-Masila, Lannon, Hauraki. Substitutes: Lui, Walne, Tasi, Krasniqi.

Referee: Phil Benthan (Warrington).