Castleford Tigers beat Salford Red Devils 23-4 at the AJ Bell Stadium as Daryl Powell’s side took a huge step towards the League Leaders Shield.
The Tigers led 12-0 at the break thanks to a Zak Hardaker brace, with Luke Gale converting both tries. Manu Vatuvei replied for the Red Devils in the second half but the Tigers saw the game out with a quick double-salvo either side of the hour mark.
Castleford are now one point away from securing silverware in what has been a magnificent season for Daryl Powell’s men thus far. The Red Devils’ slide continues as their awful run of form extended to nine losses in their last 11 games in all competitions.
Hardaker broke the deadlock on seven minutes following a swift move out of dummy-half from Paul McShane. Gale added the extras. The England international full-back added to his tally later on in the half as he touched down a move which saw impressive work from winger Jy Hitchcox. Gale was on target from the tee once again as the Tigers went into the break 12 points to the good.
Salford needed a positive start after the break and they got just that as Vatuvei scored on his home debut following a grubber from Todd Carney. The half-back couldn’t convert but the Red Devils were on the board. Two tries in quick succession for the table-toppers sealed the win. McShane added to his earlier assist with a try of his own as he threw a dummy before diving over to score. Five minutes later, Hitchcox finished off a superb break from the visitors, – something we’ve come to expect from them in recent times. Gale converted one from two to put the Tigers 22-4 up. In the latter stages of the match, Gale added gloss to the scoreline with a drop goal.