Castleford Tigers climbed up to fifth place in the Super League table following another strong defensive show in a 25-4 home victory over Hull KR.
To keep free scoring Rovers to just one try was an exceptional effort coming off the back of two tough Easter games and Daryl Powell was understandably pleased with his side’s display.
It was Hull KR who scored first when a lightning flick pass by Darrell Goulding set Ken Sio charging over in the corner for the opening try.
Cas were making good metres down the middle early on, though, and after a Luke Gale kick forced a drop-out they got their first try, Jordan Tansey forcing his way over from Ben Roberts’ pass. Gale goaled from the touchline and the Tigers were ahead.
Only last ditch defence by Sio prevented another score as Michael Shenton tried to put Justin Carney in.
But on 27 minutes the hosts did stretch their lead as Gale dived onto a loose ball over the line after Tansey’s attempted pass to Ashley Gibson had come off Josh Montellato.
Gale’s goal made it 12-4 and Cas were on top at this point and looking hungry for more points.
They scored again when Nathan Massey ran onto Roberts’ pass and brushed off Shaun Lunt to power over for another try goaled by Gale.
It stayed 18-4 to half-time, although Adam Milner was held up over the line for Cas and Mantellato dropped the ball with the line looking open for the visitors.
When Tansey kicked the ball out on the full from the restart it could have turned into one of those days for the Tigers, but they saw this game out well and got on top again early in the second half.
Roberts’ low kick forced a drop-out, Carney was agonisingly brought down just short of the line and injured his elbow in the process then Milner tried to wriggle over only to lose the ball under pressure on the line.
Carney had to come off and was taken to hospital with a suspected dislocated elbow, but Cas did not let the setback get to them as they defended well again when Hull KR’s Kelly forced a drop-out and then came up with a 40-20 kick. Sio had a chance to go for the corner again only to be bundled into touch by more keen defending.
When the Tigers got back into attack they made sure they came away with something when Gale landed a drop-goal to stretch the lead to 19-4.
Four minutes later Cas scored again when Frankie Mariano, now playing at centre with Carney off, produced a strong finish and Gale added the conversion.
No more points followed, but Castleford saw out the closing stages comfortably for a thoroughly deserved victory.
Scorers - Castleford: Tries Tansey, Gale, Massey, Mariano; goals Gale 4; drop-goal Gale. Hull KR; Try Sio.
Castleford; Tansey; Gibson, Channing, Shenton, Carney; Roberts, Gale; Lynch, Moore, Wheeldon, Holmes, Mariano, Massey. Subs; Milner, Millington, Jewitt, Boyle.
Hull KR; Dixon; Mantellato, Welham, Goulding, Sio; Campese, Kelly; Walker, Lunt, Allgood, Larroyer, Horne, McCarthy. Subs; Cockayne, Ollett, Green, Burke.
Referee; Ben Thaler.