Castleford 22-8 Salford: Tigers rack up third Super League win in a row
Last Updated: 11/03/18 7:32pm
Castleford made it three straight wins as they took advantage of a woeful first-half performance by Salford to record a 22-8 victory in a scrappy Super League fixture.
The postponement of last week's game at Hull KR rounded off a frustrating month for the 2017 Grand Finalists but they continue to chalk off the wins following a nightmare opening night at St Helens.
Michael Shenton and James Clare - on his second debut - touched down in a fast start by the Tigers before Luke Gale added a fourth goal to his own try to make it 20-0 at half-time.
Mistake-ridden Salford barely completed a set in the opening 40 minutes but did improve after the break and crossed through Junior Sa'u and Jake Bibby.
The Tigers could only add a Gale penalty in the second half as they eased off with the points in the bag.
Castleford were frustrated by the snow last week but sunshine greeted both sets of players as they entered the field at the Jungle and the Tigers looked in the mood from the off.
A solid start was essential if Salford, with only one win so far, were to pull off a shock result, but a forward pass by hooker Josh Wood on his own 20 set the tone for a sloppy first-half display.
Castleford forced another error and in the next set Shenton finished powerfully in the corner after taking Gale's long pass.
Gale nailed the touchline conversion and repeated the trick after Clare took advantage of Bibby's error from Paul McShane's kick in behind to mark his first game back for the Tigers with a try.
Salford had a lifeline when Oliver Holmes was sin-binned for an ugly spear tackle on Tyrone McCarthy but they did not look like exploiting the extra space in Castleford's defensive line.
The Tigers extended their lead through a Gale penalty after George Griffin was penalised for interference and then the scrum-half helped himself to a try when Josh Jones failed to deal with his kick into the in-goal area.
Salford finally threatened in the final minutes of the half but Sa'u summed up their performance when he lost the ball reaching out for the line.
A flat start to the second half played into the Red Devils' hands and they got on the board on 51 minutes when Sa'u ran a good line to take Jack Littlejohn's pass and go over unopposed.
That was the centre's last meaningful act as he left the field with a head wound and team-mate Logan Tomkins and Castleford prop Grant Millington soon joined him after they saw yellow following an altercation.
Gale knocked over the resultant penalty to make it 22-4 but was wide with a late drop-goal attempt as the game meandered to a conclusion.
Salford, to their credit, kept going and scored a deserved second try in the final minute as Bibby strolled over in the corner from Niall Evalds' pass.