Hull KR 8 Castleford Tigers 28: Strong second-half show puts Castleford Tigers top of the table

CASTLEFORD TIGERS went top of Betfred Super League – and received the Roger Millward trophy – when they won 28-8 at Hull KR last night.
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As against Wakefield Trinity six days earlier, Cas trailed narrowly at the break, but were dominant in the second half.

They made heavy work of it for 40 minutes, but clearly had too much quality – particularly when halves Jake Trueman and Danny Richardson got into the game – for spirited, but limited, opposition and it was only a matter of time before they took full control.

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Tigers trailed 6-0 after as many minutes and endured some nervous moments throughout the first half.

Tigers' James Clare scores in the corner.Tigers' James Clare scores in the corner.
Tigers' James Clare scores in the corner.

On the other hand, their number of clean breaks made points inevitable and if they had taken all their chances they would have been out of sight at the break.

As it was, they trailed 8-6, having equalised on 34 minutes, only for Rovers to go back in front with a penalty kicked after the hooter.

That came after Peter Mata’utia charged up the middle of the field with Jordan Rankin in support, but he knocked on – which was the story of the opening period.

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Shaun Kenny-Dowall countered and though Oliver Holmes made a tremendous tackle to prevent him scoring, Cas were caught offside and Ryan Brierley took the two.

Danny Richardson goes over to score to Castleford Tigers.Danny Richardson goes over to score to Castleford Tigers.
Danny Richardson goes over to score to Castleford Tigers.

Rovers made a strong start and went ahead when former Cas player Ben Crooks got above Derrell Olpherts from Joe Keyes’ kick and Brierley converted.

A drop out and 40-20 kept Tigers under pressure and Will Dagger knocked on before strolling over, but from then on it was all about Castleford’s missed chances.

Mike McMeeken dropped the ball as he tried to stretch across the line, then was held up and clean breaks by Rankin and Trueman came to nothing.

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Eventually, Paul McShane burst clear from near his own line, Richardson was in support and his long pass was finished by Michael Shenton. Richardson added a touchline goal.

Like against Wakefield, Cas’ players came out early for a mini-warm up at the start of the second half, scored before the opposition had possession and carried on to make the most of a hefty – 7-3 – penalty advantage.

In both games they were also aided by a sin-binning after a potential penalty try wasn’t given.

Grant Millington was taken out chasing Trueman’s kick and though the officials decided it wasn’t worth a four-pointer, Brierley was yellow-carded and Richardson took the two to equalise.

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Millington was excellent for Tigers, giving them a real lift off the bench.

A knock-on by Shenton led to James Clare’s touchdown being ruled out and Mata’utia was held up over Rovers’ line, but Cas went in front when they ran the ball on the last and Richardson stepped through from a pass by Adam Milner, who made a welcome return and influential from injury..

Cas had an escape when Elliot Minchella knocked on just short, but a superb finish by Clare from Trueman’s pass extended the lead.

Richardson converted both tries and added a penalty to make it 22-8 at the end of the third quarter.

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With eight minutes left Holmes and Nathan Massey were both held up over the line before McMeeken crossed from Trueman’s pass and Richardson’s sixth goal completed the scoring.

Hull KR: Dagger, Minikin, Kenny-Dowall, Linnett, Crooks, Keyes, Brierley, Murray, Litten, Maher, Gee, Storton, Hadley. Subs Harrison, Garbutt, Trout, Minchella.

Castleford Tigers: Rankin, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Clare, Trueman, Richardson,Watts, McShane, Griffin, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey. Subs Millington, Milner, Blair, Smith.

Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield)

Attendance: 7,464.