Salford Red Devils fell to a 6-24 defeat against Castleford Tigers in an error-ridden affair at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Ian Watson’s men did go into the break level after Jake Bibby’s try in the corner had cancelled out Jake Webster’s opening score. However, a second from Webster alongside tries from Michael Shenton and Kieran Gill saw the Tigers control the second forty and go on to win.
Salford were down to just 17 fit men in the lead-up to the game with Levy Nzoungou and Ed Chamberlain both making their home debuts while Castleford also had a handful of first team players sidelined.
After a rather uninspiring first fifteen minutes, Castleford broke the deadlock through Webster in rather bizarre circumstances. The Tigers managed to keep the ball alive with four or five fortunate offloads before a kick ricocheted off Junior Sa’u and eventually found Webster who crossed the line unchallenged. Paul McShane converted.
But, with five minutes of the first half remaining the Red Devils pulled themselves level as Bibby – who has now crossed in each of his last four games – latched onto a low kick from Chamberlain to score. Chamberlain followed up with the conversion from the touchline and the sides went into the interval level.
Unfortunately, the standard of rugby didn’t pick up in the second half with both sides struggling to cause any serious problems, but it was Castleford who went over. The Tigers came down the left-hand channel and Shenton managed to jink his way inside to regain the lead for the visitors. McShane converted.
Castleford followed this up with another try just four minutes later and this time it was their other centre Webster who powered over from close-range for his second of the afternoon. McShane again converted to extend the visitors lead to twelve points.
The Red Devils didn’t give up however and came close on a number of occasions through Rob Lui while Ryan Lannon was also held-up over the line. But, with ten minutes left on the clock Gill finished off a flowing Castleford move in the corner to put the game beyond reach of Salford. McShane converted.
Salford remain in 11th in the Betfred Super League following the loss while Castleford confirmed their top four spot heading into the Super 8s.
Salford Lineup: Chamberlain, Bibby, Jones, Sa’u, Olpherts; Lui, Shorrocks, Tasi, Wood, Nakubuwai, Lannon, McCarthy, Murray.
Interchanges: Flanagan, Burke, Mossop, Nzoungou.
Castleford Lineup: Eden, Gill, Webster, Shenton, Clare; QLT, Trueman; Watts, McShane, Sene-Lefao, Moors, Millington, Milner.
Interchanges: Holmes, Wardle, Cook, Clark.
Salford Scorers: Tries- Bibby (31’) | Goals– Chamberlain (32’)
Castleford Scorers: Tries- Webster (18’, 52’), Shenton (48’), Gill (71’)| Goals– McShane (19’, 49’, 53’, 72’)
Referee: Chris Kendall.
Man of the Match: Josh Wood.