ANOTHER OUTSTANDING display of finishing by in-form winger Greg Eden was the highlight of Castleford Tigers’ 11th successive win against Wakefield Trinity.
Eden scored a brace in both halves of a comprehensive 42-10 victory to take his tally to 15th try in seven games since returning from injury.
It was Tigers’ fifth straight win and they have kept a clean sheet for one of the halves in all of them, after conceding only a penalty in the second 40 minutes of the opening Super-8s game at Wigan.
The damage was done in the opening 14 minutes when Castleford raced into an 18-0 lead against a Trinity team who looked like they could not wait for the season to end.
Already missing leading try scorer Tom Johnstone, they were without Jacob Miller (ill), Anthony England (elbow) and Danny Kirmond – who was not ready after his long-term knee injury – from their initial squad.
They then lost Scott Grix to a facial injury – suffered making a try saving tackle on Michael Shenton – and it looked like they could concede a cricket score, but to their credit the visitors dug in and Tigers got scrappy.
There was no more scoring until the break and the game opened up in the second half, though overall it was a disappointing. low-key affair littered with penalties.
Castleford’s win confirmed third place in the table and a trip to Wigan in the semi-finals.
They were never in danger after scoring within 56 seconds of their own kick-off.
Grix chipped ahead from the first pass of the game, but the training ground move backfired as Peter Mata’utia gathered the ball and in that set Eden ran through to touch down from Gale’s kick. Mata’utia had another fine game and Tigers seem, finally, to have found a long-term solution to their full-back problem.
Eden’s second try followed soon afterwards, after Mata’utia and Michael Shenton had combined.
On 14 minutes Tyler Randell was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Nathan Massey and Greg Minikin – recalled to the starting line-up in place of James Clare – went over from Mata’utia’s lovely cut-out pass in the next set.
The game deteriorated after that. Minikin did get over the line a second time, just before the interval, but Jake Trueman’s pass was forward.
Trinity dominated the opening stages after half-time and turned pressure into four points on 48 minutes when Bill Tupou, playing on the left-wing, crossed from Matty Ashurst’s pass.
But Wakefield then failed to find touch with a penalty from near their own line, leading to a goal line drop out, a Cas penalty which they tapped in front of the posts and eventually a try for Grant Millington.
It was his second in successive games after he broke his duck in last week’s win over Huddersfield Giants.
Reece Lyne pulled another try back for Trinity, holding off Shenton before planting the ball down one-handed and Ryan Hampshire landed a touchline goal, but Eden completed his hat-trick on the hour when he spotted a gap and raced through from 30 metres out.
Soon after that Ben Jones-Bishop snapped up a loose ball and went 70 metres to cross between the posts, only to look back and see both sides waiting to form a scrum at the other end.
That led to Eden’s fourth try, the in-form winger getting on the end of quick hands by Gale and Shenton.
Paul McShane darted out of acting-half to send Junior Moors over four minutes from time, Gale’s seventh goal – from as many attempts completing the scoring.
Castleford Tigers: Mata’utia, Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Gale, Watts, McShane, Millington, Moors, McMeeken, Massey. Subs Roberts, Milner, Sene-Lefao, Clark.
Wakefield Trinity: Grix, Tupou, Lyne, Arundel, Jones-Bishop, Wood, Hampshire, Huby, Randell, Arona, Ashurst, Batchelor, Crowther. Subs Jowitt, Pauli, Annakin, Horo.
Referee: Gareth Hewer (Whitehaven).