Tigers' roar heard after early strike by Dockers

Castleford Tigers 72 Hull Dockers 10

CASTLEFORD marched into round four of the Powergen Challenge Cup with a predictable victory over amateurs Hull Dockers.

The National Conference League Premier Division side made a strong start and raised hopes of a shock victory with a try after only five minutes.

But the Tigers recovered to run in 13 touchdowns, including hat-tricks for centres Jon Hepworth and Damien Reid.

Hepworth took his tally to eight tries in five games.

Depleted Tigers gave a surprise substitute appearance to assistant coach Dean Sampson, almost two years since he officially retired from the professional game.

Dockers’ early pressure paid off as centre Paul Taylor crashed over in the corner. But any possibility of an upset was ruthlessly snuffed out as Cas ran in four tries in 11 minutes.

Half-back Andy Cain crossed to level matters and Reid went in off Steve Crouch’s pass to give the Tigers the lead.

Jordan James muscled his way over and half-back Paul Handforth sent Hepworth racing in from 35 yards for a converted try that made it 22-4 after only 20 minutes.

The gutsy visitors dug in to limit the damage, but the temporary departure of influential half-back Chris Stephenson, who was sin-binned for persistent interference, proved costly as Cas ran in three quick tries.

Hepworth and Cain both grabbed their second tries before winger Waine Pryce opened his account by seizing on a loose pass to race in from 85 yards.

With Handforth a growing influence, the Tigers ran in six second-half touchdowns. Twice he sent Reid over and he also provided the killer pass that enabled prop Adam Watene to cross.

Hepworth sliced through to complete his hat-trick, prop Frank Watene charged over and winger Michael Shenton scored in the 78th minute to maintain his record of scoring in all Castleford’s games so far this season.

Dockers’ stand-out back row Craig Henry scored the visitors’ second try on 65 minutes, improved by Stephenson.

Castleford Tigers: S Cain; Pryce, Reid, Hepworth, Shenton; A Cain, Handforth; F Watene, Henderson, A Watene, James, Crouch, A Smith. Substitutes (all used): Cooke, England, Knowles, Sampson.

Hull Dockers: Hall; A Walker, P Taylor, Malloy, Jones; Stephenson, Yeaman; Emerson, Sellers, Jay, Henry, Eccles, A Taylor. Substitutes (all used): Gardner, Ulyatt, D Walker, Caldwell.

Referee: J Leahy (Dewsbury).