Ten-try Castleford blow away Saints in Challenge Cup

Hat-trick: Greg Eden.
Hat-trick: Greg Eden.

A second half hat-trick of tries from Super League’s top scorer Greg Eden helped Castleford Tigers rack up the points again in a 53-10 victory over St Helens in their sixth round Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

Daryl Powell’s men ran in 10 tries in an irresistible attacking display that showed why they are among the favourites to win the competition.

They built up a 31-4 half-time lead after a strong all-round display in which they looked sharp in attack and did well when forced to defend for a big spell mid-half.

They got off to the start they wanted when Paul McShane’s switch of direction and Luke Gale’s pass led to skipper Michael Shenton going over against his former team.

A second try followed in the 11th minute as Jake Webster celebrated signing a new contract with a try as he ran onto a smart pass by young scrum-half Tom Holmes.

The start was almost even better when Grant Millington took the ball off Mark Percival near the visitors’ line and touched the ball down over the line only to have his effort ruled out by the video referee as it was deemed to be a two-on-one tackle.

Relieved Saints then had their best spell and got their first points when Ryan Morgan collected Matty Smith’s high kick to score in the corner.

Zeb Taia thought he had scored soon after when trying to get the ball down from close range, but the video referee ruled he was just short and the Tigers survived.

More pressure saw Percival held up on the line on a sixth tackle and Cas were relieved again.

They began to get back on top, however, and ended the half like a house on fire.

Ben Roberts, on as a replacement for Tom Holmes, set up a try with his high kick taken by Webster to score.

Greg Eden then made a speedy break off a superb pick up and although halted by James Roby the good field position was well used as McShane muscled his way over for a try.

The best try of the half followed on the next set as Roberts made a superb break from his own half and his kick on the run was collected by winger Greg Minikin for a magnificent score.

Gale added a drop-goal for good measure and there was still time for one more try right on the half-time hooter with Nathan Massey going over for a rare try.

Cas started the second half as they ended the first as they scored again within two minutes, Eden going over in the corner after Gale’s offload had paved the way and was deemed okay after much deliberation from the video referee.

Tom Holmes, back on at half-back, came within inches of a try as he backed up Minikin’s fine break only to put a foot in touch trying to get the ball down over the line.

But the Tigers did not have long to wait for another score when Gale’s long pass sent Eden over in the corner.

They then began throwing the ball about with abandon, but were held out for a spell until Eden completed a 20-minute hat-trick, finishing off a sharp left edge passing move.

The attention switched to the other wing with Minikin put in the clear in his own half and having the pace to sprint past several would-be tacklers for a fine try.

Saints did gain some consolation with Luke Douglas barging over from close range. But they were well beaten as everyone else has been so far at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle this season.

There was some concern for the Tigers, however, near the end when Zak Hardaker limped off with what looked like a serious ankle injury.

Scorers - Castleford: Tries Shenton, Webster 2, McShane, Minikin 2, Massey, Eden 3; goals Gale 6; drop-goal Gale. St Helens: Tries Morgan, Douglas; goal Percival.

Castleford Tigers: Hardaker; Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Eden; T Holmes, Gale; Lynch, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Milner. Subs: Massey, Roberts, Moors, Cook.

St Helens: Makinson; Swift, Percival, Morgan, Grace; Fages, Smith; Walmsley, Roby, Douglas, Taia, Knowles, Thompson. Subs: Amor, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Richards.

Referee: Phil Bentham

Half-time: 31-4.

Attendance: 5,216.