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Tigers freeze out Salford
Reds fall flat on first Super League match at new stadium
Full-back Richard Owen scored two tries as Castleford spoiled Salford's opening night at their new home by grinding out a 24-10 victory in atrocious weather conditions.
The Tigers came from 4-0 down to triumph at the Salford City Stadium and ensure new coach Ian Millward made a winning return to Super League after a six-year absence.
The Yorkshiremen performed creditably to score four tries on a snowbound surface, three of them into a bitterly cold wind in the second half.
The Reds suffered an early blow when hooker Wayne Godwin hobbled off just eight minutes into the game but Stuart Howarth, one of five new signings, proved an able deputy until having to also go off with mild concussion 14 minutes from the end.
When stand-off Daniel Holdsworth failed to find touch with a penalty, the home side looked in for a long night but they had a touch of good fortune when Castleford fluffed a straight-forward scoring opportunity.
Half-backs Danny Orr and Rangi Chase combined to create an opening but Owen mistimed his pass to Kirk Dixon on the wing and referee Thierry Alibert rightly ruled it forward.
The breakthrough came at the other end on 17 minutes when Reds scrum-half Matty Smith took Howarth's pass, split the Castleford defence open with a dummy and careered over from 30 metres for the first Super League try at the new stadium.
The Tigers thought they had levelled when hooker Adam Milner burrowed his way over from acting half-back but Salford back rower Vinnie Anderson managed to get his body under the ball to prevent the score.
Video referee Phil Bentham also disallowed a Holdsworth try for obstruction but there was no disputing Castleford's equalising try six minutes before half-time when Chase superbly delayed his pass for Owen to go through a gap to touch down.
Dixon's conversion edged the Yorkshiremen into a 6-4 interval lead and they stretched it to eight points within seven minutes of the re-start thanks a wonderful example of opportunism.
Replacement hooker Daryl Clark underlined his promise with a darting run and offload which created the position for Owen to kick speculatively to the corner.
Left winger Josh Griffin was first to the ball and, after hacking it forward, won the race to touch it down.
Dixon's conversion put the visitors two scores in front and they made sure of the win when Milner gathered Chase's well-placed kick to claim a third try.
Salford battled to the end and scored the best try of the match when former St Helens second rower Matty Ashurst finished off a flowing move featuring half-backs Smith and Holdsworth and full-back Luke Patten.
Holdsworth kicked his first goal but Castleford had the final say when Owen grabbed his second try after more good work from Danny Orr and his half-back partner Chase, with the sure-footed Dixon kicking his fourth goal from as many attempts.Super League. Click here to bet.
Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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