Widnes 0 Castleford Tigers 34: Defence delights Daryl Powell at Super League leaders

Tigers head coach Daryl Powell.
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell.
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Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell was left purring after his side ran in six tries to beat Widnes 34-0.

The table-topping Tigers were in no mood to sympathise with the 11th-placed Vikings, who succumbed to the red-hot firepower of the visitors.

“We scored some really great tries but the thing that impressed and pleased me most was our defence,” Powell said.

“It’s a big win for us. Widnes came at us early and we prevented them from getting over. I think the turning point came when we carried Danny Craven over the line.”

The Tigers had the game in the bag at 22-0 at the break and did not relent in the second period.

Powell added: “We spoke at half-time about keeping them out and keeping the nil. Our defence was outstanding.

“We scored some really good tries and showed some world-class pieces off skill.

“The plays are something we work on, they do not happen by accident. It (the play in the build-up to the tries) was pure class. Greg (Eden) reeled the ball in and it was outstanding to see. But to see them enjoy defending was great. It’s going to be an interesting season.”

Widnes thought they had got off to a flying when Stefan Marsh had a try ruled out and Craven was held up.

The first score of the afternoon came after 22 minutes when Paul McShane set up Greg Minikin up for a well-worked try on the right.

Castleford’s Luke Gale was screaming out for the pass from McShane but the hooker switched the play, catching Widnes on the hop, and the opportunity for the centre to crash over. Gale smashed over the conversion from out wide.

The Vikings had been decent value up to that point, but before long they found themselves trailing by three scores as Castleford turned the screw. Minikin bagged his second, thanks to a brilliant break from Ben Roberts which created the opening for Joel Monaghan to send him over.

The third was the ultimate in simplicity, as Gale fired a pass through the back line to put Shenton in for a walk over.

The try-scoring procession continued just before half-time as Gale hit Shenton with a speculator ball which the former England man tapped on to winger Eden.

Roberts was held up over the line for the first Castleford attack of the second half but the roaring Tigers did not have to wait too much longer as Matt Cook barged over from close range to increase the lead further.

Michael Shenton put winger Eden in again with a masterful offload and at 34-0 it was a thrashing. The mistake-ridden Vikings rallied slightly as they fought hard to prevent the whitewash but Castleford valiantly defended the zero.

Widnes: Hanbury, Thompson, Armstrong, Runciman, Marsh, Bridge, Craven, J. Chapelhow, White, Buchanan, Houston, Whitley, Cahill. Substitutes: Heremaia, Leuluai, Olbison, Burke.

Castleford: Hardaker, Monaghan, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, McShane, Gale, Lynch, Milner, Springer, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey. Substitutes: Moors, Millington, Cook, Roberts.

Referee: J Smith (RFL).