Tigers turn on the style
A review of Sunday's action in the First Utility Super League, with wins for Castleford, Huddersfield and Widnes.
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Justin Carney scored a first-half hat-trick as Castleford moved to within two points of the summit after an emphatic 64-18 victory over already-relegated London Broncos.
Carney watched last week's draw at Hull from the sidelines and he made up for lost time against a Broncos outfit seemingly destined to end the season without a win to their name.
The Australian crossed three times during a nine-minute purple patch to break London's spirit after they had got off to a promising start.
The visitors led 12-6 after early tries from Olis Krasniqi and Erjon Dollapi but had no answer to the Tigers after Carney's intervention.
Castleford crossed 12 times in all with Luke Dorn and Kirk Dixon claiming doubles, with Scott Wheeldon, Michael Shenton, Garreth Carvell, Frankie Mariano and Adam Milner also crossing as Marc Sneyd added eight conversions.
The impressive Mike McMeeken went over late on for the Broncos but the afternoon belonged to Castleford as they stretched their unbeaten run to six matches.
Widnes Vikings beat Hull KR 28-10 to tighten their grip on the final play-off place in a physical encounter at the Select Security Stadium.
Two tries in as many minutes at the beginning of the second half gave the Vikings the confidence to see out the game. First Joe Mellor flew over and then Kevin Brown finished off a brilliant inter-passing move to give the Vikings the edge.
The hosts did not have it all their own way though as Hull KR threw everything at them but in the end the visitors did not have the power to deal with the vibrant Vikings, who head into next week's Tetley's Challenge Cup semi-final against Castleford in great shape
Jack Owens had given the hosts an early lead, only for Kris Keating to haul Rovers level before Chris Dean gave Widnes a 10-4 interval lead with the help of Danny Tickle's conversion.
That quickfire double finally put Widnes in charge and although a converted Travis Burns try gave Rovers renewed hope, before further scores from Stefan Marsh and Rhys Hanbury finally put the Vikings out of sight.
Wakefield's play-off hopes were dealt a body blow after they crashed to a first home defeat under coach James Webster.
The Wildcats never recovered from a dismal first half after which they trailed a rampant Huddersfield 32-0 and, although they produced a spirited revival, a 36-18 defeat leaves them four points behind eighth-placed Widnes with four games left of the regular season.
Huddersfield, with former England hooker Shaun Lunt in impressive form on his return from a two-month injury lay-off, were dominant from the start, despite the late withdrawal of winger Jodie Broughton and prop Antonio Kaufusi.
It did little to affect them as Joe Wardle, Eorl Crabtree, Lunt, Craig Kopczak, Kruise Leeming and Jermaine McGillvary all crossed in a devastating opening period, with Danny Brough adding four conversions.
Jake Connor claimed another Giants try late on after the Wildcats had rallied courtesy of a brace of tries from Jarrod Sammut and one from Paul Sykes.