Castleford Tigers climbed to seventh place in Super League by inflicting Salford’s first defeat in four matches at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Friday night.
Winger Justin Carney bagged two tries as the Tigers bounced back from last week’s 22-0 defeat at Huddersfield by easing to a 30-16 win.
Scrum-half Liam Finn played an important role. He scored a try and had a hand or boot in Castleford’s other five touchdowns.
Castleford captain Michael Shenton scored a try after making a surprise return just two weeks after he dislocated a shoulder in the 42-14 home win against Wigan.
The Tigers, still smarting from last week’s 22-0 defeat at Huddersfield Giants, took a ninth-minute lead when Carney finished a flowing move involving Finn and Luke Dorn to score his seventh try of the season
Salford were soon fell further behind after they failed to deal with Luke Gale’s high kick.
Dorn and Adam Milner went close before Finn went over from acting half-back from close range and Gale added his second goal to put them 12-0 up after 13 minutes.
The Reds hit back in the 18th minute when Rangi Chase’s clever grubber kick set up a try for hooker Tommy Lee.
The Tigers did well to survive further Salford pressure, with Chase’s half-back partner Michael Dobson’s teasing kick forcing a goalline drop out.
Castleford then broke upfield to increase their lead to 16-6 when clever play by Jake Webster, James Clare and Finn saw Shenton score.
The Reds quickly replied when Grant Millington dropped Dobson’s high kick near his own try line and ex-Tigers forward Weller Hauraki pounced for a simple try while Josh Griffin added his second goal.
Both teams finished the first-half with 12 men after Carney (Castleford) and Chase (Salford) were both sin-binned after a 32nd-minute flare-up.
Clare made a try-saving tackle to foil Salford winger Ben Jones-Bishop after the Salford winger cleverly scooped up a dropped Castleford pass and raced away down the touchline.
Castleford’s Ben Roberts was then held up over the line before Finn put in Scott Wheeldon on the stroke of half-time and Gale kicked his third goal to give them a 22-12 lead.
They shot further ahead seven minutes into the second-half when Jones-Bishop fumbled Finn’s kick behind his own try line, gifting Clare an easy score.
The Reds rallied but their handling frequently let them down when they got near the try line.
The Tigers looked the sharper side and slick handling by Finn and Carney sent in Carney for his second try after 65 minutes.
Salford flickered when Jones-Bishop scored a 70th-minute try but it was too late.