Castleford romped to a 38-14 victory at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle with a comprehensive second half performance to inflict another loss on an out-of-form Salford side. Greg Eden scored twice in the league leaders’ win but also suffered a potentially season ending shoulder injury in the process.
Mistakes will cost Castleford
After getting off to a promising start with Greg Eden crossing just 3 minutes in, Castleford conceded soon after when letting Gareth O’Brien through untouched on their goal line after some appalling defence. While they went into the half time break 18-10 up, the only thing that stopped Castleford from pulling well clear were their unforced errors. Castleford escaped yet another rude awakening relying on their points scoring ability and Salford’s inability to make the errors pay in the first half. At some point this season Castleford will become unstuck if they carry on playing akin to their performance in the first half; they nearly fell foul of a poor first half performance last time out. The second half, however, was another story all together and if Castleford can replicate that performance for a full eighty minutes then they truly are unstoppable. Over the coming weeks Castleford cannot afford to have any more unforced errors in their game because they will be playing sides that will capitalise more often than not.
Eden injury taints Castleford’s win
After scoring his second try of the match with a sublime finish, he got up clutching his shoulder and never returned to the pitch. Daryl Powell has confirmed that Eden will most likely be out for the rest of the season. While his injury wont make significant difference to the Castleford side as they have apt replacements on the bench in the form of Jy Hitchcox and Joel Monahan. The main problem will be the dissonance between the playmakers inside the new winger as Greg Eden’s timing and placement has been spot on more often than not this season. Although it is a loss, it isn’t that big of a loss for a Castleford side that have masses of strength in depth throughout their squad, the major downside to Eden’s injury, however, is that it rules him out of what was shaping up to be a record breaking try scoring season for Eden.
Salford faltering when it counts
Salford have now lost 5 of their last 7, with their last two performances being less than satisfactory. They’ve now lost their last two by over 24 points and have conceded no less than 20 points in their last four games. They are a polar opposite to the team that won 12 in 13 earlier in the season and their dip in form comes at the most inopportune time at the business end of the season. Just 8 weeks earlier they were heralded as possible Grand finalists but now they look as though they could be ousted out of the top four by Hull. They showed nothing in the Castleford game to suggest they will compete with any of the in-form top 8 sides and will most likely struggle in the Super 8s leg of the competition. Either way it makes for an exciting Round 23 where Salford will be hoping they can re-find their form and put together some good performances in the Super 8s.
Castleford (18) 38
Tries: Eden 2, Roberts, Monaghan 2, Hardaker Goals: Gale 7
Salford (10) 14
Tries: O’Brien, Welham, Bibby Goal: Dobson