Greg Eden hat-trick as Castleford hammer Widnes in Betfred Super League

Greg Eden
Greg Eden

Greg Eden scored a hat-trick of tries as Castleford hammered struggling Widnes 52-24 to move up to third in Betfred Super League.

Four sensational first-half scores in the space of seven minutes from Daryl Powell's side knocked the stuffing out of the Vikings, who led 12-4 after Pat Ah Van and Rhys Hanbury crossed.

The Vikings, who handed Liam Finn and Harrison Hansen debuts following their switches from Wakefield and Leigh respectively, put in a more competitive showing.

But although Finn had a hand in both early tries, the Vikings could not contain the Tigers and suffered a 16th consecutive defeat ahead of the Qualifiers.

After Ah Van and Hanbury scored following Eden's opener, the Castleford winger sniffed out a 50-metre interception to make it 12-10 after Jamie Ellis had kicked his 1,000th career point.

Sandwiched in between those scores was a yellow card for Widnes' Krisnan Inu that put Francis Cummins' men under unnecessary pressure and Cas made them pay.

Things got worse when rookie Widnes winger Ryan Ince let the Tigers back into it with a poor error as he coughed up Jake Trueman's bomb, paving the way for Trueman to score himself after good work from Peter Mata'utia.

Quentin Laulu-Togagae continued his blistering form for his new club and he was involved in Castleford's next two scores.

The first was a stunning end to end try from the former Sheffield player as he picked up the ball from Widnes' restart and a couple of interplays later touched down under the sticks.

Laulu-Togagae was at it again minutes later as a bouncing, loose pass from Trueman was misread by Ince and was snaffled by Eden who poked a kick through for the veteran full-back to touch down.

Widnes kept in touch two minutes from the half-time whistle as Hansen barged his way over from Finn's deft pass but that was as good as it got.

Trailing 28-18 at the break, the Vikings were not completely out of it but the Tigers hit the afterburners as second-rower Oliver Holmes burst over for a breakaway try and then James Clare's athleticism set up Mitch Clark for a score that put real daylight between the two teams.

The Tigers smelt blood and it was not long before Eden was racing in for his hat-trick.

Ah Van grabbed a late consolation as he got on the end of Finn's crossfield kick.

But Adam Milner had the final say with a simple walk in at the death as Cas passed the 50-point mark, with Ellis finishing the game with eight conversions.

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