Castleford Tigers maintained their unbeaten start as they shook off a poor start to beat Hull KR 32-16 in front of a near 9,000 crowd at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Daryl Powell’s men ran in six tries in their best attacking display so far this season and could have racked up more points with a couple of tries disallowed - correctly.
Hull KR ended up with 10 men against 12 of Cas following four late sin-binnings, but they were left to rue not pushing on after a bright start.
Cas recovered from a sloppy start to lead 14-6 at the break with three unanswered tries after they had conceded the first score.
They were forced to defend their line in the opening seconds after allowing Hull KR’s kick-off to bounce into touch.
Nothing came of the following play with a knock-on giving the Tigers the ball back, but handling errors gifted more possession to the visitors and only good work behind his line by Peter Mata’utia prevented a try ad the ball bounced around dangerously.
Former Tigers player Lee Jewitt was held up over the line, but the relief was only temporary for the home team as Mose Masoe proved too tough to stop from close range and Ryan Shaw converted the 12th minute try.
Cas gradually started to put their game together and put their first points on the board after 15 minutes when Jordan Rankin took advantage of some fortune as his grubber kick bounced back to him off a KR foot and although he juggled with the ball he was able to dive over for a try that went unconverted.
A second try followed six minutes later when Liam Watts proved unstoppable from close range and Paul McShane added the extras to make it 10-6.
Cas almost scored again when great play by Greg Eden gave skipper Michael Shenton a chance, but he lost the ball reaching out attempting to plant the ball down over the line.
At the other end Danny McGuire’s kick forced a goal-line drop-out, but the Tigers survived the pressure with some good defending, the closest the visitors coming to scoring being when Ryan Lannon was held up over the line.
The Tigers received a penalty near the end of the half and chose to play instead of going for goal. The decision proved correct as swift handling down the left involving Jake Trueman and Shenton led to Eden touching down in the corner for a try that made it 14-6 at the break.
Cas stretched their lead early in the second half with a great move down the right involving Rankin and Mata’utia to set up James Clare for a straight forward run in to touch down in the corner. Rankin took over kicking duties and landed a great touchline goal.
Rovers were not finished and after being gifted possession in the home 20 with a forward pass they scored their second try with Masoe again proving unstoppable from close range and Shaw adding the goal.
Masoe threatened to get his hat-trick on another short range charge, but was held up over the line by a great saving tackle.
Cas heeded the warning and took charge again as a beautifully judge kick over the top by Trueman was collected by a flying Eden for another fine score. Rankin added another touchline goal to make it 26-12.
The next set saw another eye-catching try when Chris Clarkson, against the club who did not want him at the end of last season, produced a strong charge from about 25 metres out to score with a great solo effort. Rankin again goaled.
With the game won head coach gave Jacques O’Neill his debut, but the action was not quite over.
Grant Millington and James Greenwood were both sin-binned after a little set-to that saw the rest of the players joining in to calm everyone down.
Clare came within inches of his second try as he put a foot in touch trying to dive over in the corner before there was more for referee Gareth Hewer to sort out with Weller Hauraki and Danny McGuire both yellow carded for what looked like dissent decisions.
It was 12 against 10 now, but Rovers remarkably scored when Josh Drinkwater’s high kick was allowed to bounce and fell kindly for Chris Atkin in charge over. Shaw missed the easy conversion, but it did not matter as the Tigers had run out deserved 32-16 winners having played well at both ends of the pitch in the crucial middle part of the match.
Scorers - Castleford: Tries Rankin, Watts, Eden 2, Clare, Clarkson; goals McShane, Rankin 3. Hull KR: Tries Masoe 2, Atkin; goals Shaw 2.
Castleford Tigers: Mata’utia; Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden; Trueman, Rankin; Watts, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, Clarkson, Massey. Subs: Moors, Cook, Egodo, O’Neill.
Hull KR: Dagger; Shaw, Keinhorst, Vaivai, Hall; McGuire, Drinkwater; Jewitt, Lee, Masoe, Linnett, Addy, Hauraki. Subs: Mulhern, Greenwood, Atkin, Lannon.
Referee: Gareth Hewer