Refreshed Justin Carney led the way with four tries as Castleford Tigers strolled into the last eight of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup with a 60-16 victory over Sheffield Eagles at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Australian winger Carney was rested from last Monday’s win over Warrington and showed the value of it with a first half hat-trick and another try after the break as Daryl Powell’s men made easier work of the Championship winners than was expected.
The Tigers ran in 12 tries in total and would have won by more had Kirk Dixon not missed six first half conversions.
Sheffield had brief dreams of causing an upset as they scored first after only two minutes, winger Scott Turner going over from Pat Walker’s long pass, but they were soon forced back and found wanting on defence.
The rest of the half was a procession of tries for Cas once they went in front with two Carney scores, the first from Michael Shenton’s pass and the second after collecting Liam Finn’s chip.
Grant Millington was next over from Oliver Holmes’ pass and within three minutes Ashley Gibson had his first try in a Cas shirt with a strong finish.
Dixon, on his return from injury, provided a good finish on 28 minutes and Jamie Ellis proved too strong for Eagles defenders soon after.
Daryl Clark finished the best move of the half, down the Tigers’ left, to extend the lead and Carney then completed his hat-trick just before the break.
The only respite for the visitors was that Dixon had an off day with the boot, landing only two of eight conversion attempts even if most of them were from the touchline.
The Tigers could have had more points as Millington bombed a three on one when his pass was intercepted and Jake Webster dropped the ball over the line after being first to reach Finn’s high kick.
Sheffield were first to score after the break when the ball went loose over the line and former Featherstone player Duane Straugheir pounced on it.
Ex-Tigers half-back Dominic Brambani added the conversion, but there was no danger of any Eagles comeback even if they did up their game after the break.
Jordan Tansey scooped up a loose ball to score the next home try and Marc Sneyd, on as substitute, took over kicking duties to add the conversion.
Two minutes later Ellis took advantage of a Sheffield fumble on their own line and on the hour Holmes grabbed a try his display deserved, showing tremendous speed for a forward to race clear. With Sneyd adding both conversions the half century was now up.
Sheffield continued to show spirit and scored again through youngster Tom Ashton, with Brambani goaling, but the Tigers had the last word when Carney sprinted over following good work by Tansey.
Sneyd’s fourth goal completed the scoring at 60-16 and Castleford now look forward to tomorrow’s quarter-final cup draw.
Scorers - Castleford: Tries Carney 4, Millington, Gibson, Dixon, Ellis 2, Clark, Tansey, Holmes; goals Dixon 2, Sneyd 4. Sheffield: Tries Turner, Straugheir, Ashton; goals Brambani 2.
Castleford: Tansey; Dixon, Gibson, Shenton, Carney; Ellis, Finn; Wheeldon, Milner, Huby, Holmes, Webster, Millington. Subs: Sneyd, Massey, Clark, Mariano.
Sheffield: Laulu-Togage; Turner, Hanson, Straugheir, Burke; Walker, Brambani; Lillycrop, Henderson, Green, Garside, Aspinall, Taulapapa. Subs: Davey, Blagborough, Tagaloa, Ashton.
Referee: Robert Hicks.