Castleford Tigers reclaimed third place in the Super League table as they overcame a struggling Salford Red Devils side at the AJ Bell Stadium, a result that means that Salford have now won just one game from their last ten in all competitions. Read the match report here:
It was a low scoring first half, with just two tries scored, but it was Castleford who hit the front on 18 minutes through Jake Webster who, after a number offloads and a defelcted kick, was found in space and put in for an easy score.
The Red Devils levelled the scores five minutes before half time when Jake Bibby beat James Clare in a footrace following a kick to the corner and grounded for his fourth try in as many games.
Beaten 52-22 at Hull KR in their last outing, Salford produced some determined defence at the end of the first half, withstanding an intense spell of Tigers pressure and denying Mitch Clark a try by holding him up over the line.
But, after a strong, spirited first-half performance, the hosts struggled after the break and the Tigers’ class shone through as they took control.
Michael Shenton forced his way over to give his side the lead again before Webster crashed onto a pass and couldn’t be stopped for his second of the night just four minutes later as the visitors effectively killed the game early in the second forty.
Kieran Gill then ran in a late try after some good work from Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e to extend the Tigers’ lead to 18 points and make sure of the win against a Salford side who, despite a valiant effort, could not find a a consolation in the closing minutes.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Salford are struggling
As in any sport, having an injury-free squad is crucial but, unfortunately for Salford, all their injuries have come at once. With only 17 regular squad members fit for the game against Castleford, the Red Devils are depleted and look as though they’ll struggle to survive in Super League on current form.
The defeat leaves Ian Watson’s side with just one win since mid-April, and their Super League survival is far from secure as they head into the Qualifiers.
Cas are a strong unit
Salford had opportunities to get back into the match throughout the game and, against a weaker opponent, possibly would have done.
But, the Castleford defence yet again earned their money and showed just how good they are. After moving just one point behind Wigan, the Tigers supporters will be looking forward to the Super 8s and will be optimistic about what the end of the season could bring.
Jake Webster (Castleford Tigers)
The star of the show, Webster recorded both of his tries when his side really needed them, both opening the scoring and going over for Cas’ third try which gave them a healthy lead early in the second half.
His determination and desire to get over the whitewash seems to never fade and, after another impressive showing here, he’s sure to be a contender for the club’s player of the year.
Salford Red Devils 6
Drop Goals: n/a
Castleford Tigers 24
Tries: Webster (2), Shenton, Gill
Goals: McShane (4)
Drop Goals: n/a
Salford Red Devils: Chamberlain, Olpherts, Sa’u, Jones, Bibby, Lui, Shorrocks, Lasi, Wood, Nakubuwai, Lannon, McCarthy, Murray.
Replacements: Flanagan, Burke, Mossop, Nzoungou.
CastlefordTigers: Eden, Gill, Webster, Shenton, Clare, Laulu-Togaga’e, Trueman, Watts, McShane, Sene-Lefao, Moors, Millington, Milner.
Replacements: Holmes, Wardle, Cook, Clark.
Referee: Chris Kendall.