Super League: Widnes Vikings 0-34 Castleford Tigers

Greg Minikin
Greg Minikin has eight tries in four games
Betfred Super League
Widnes (0)
Castleford (22)
Tries: Minikin 2, Shenton, Eden 2, Cook Goals: Gale 5

Castleford Tigers showed why they are the early-season Super League leaders with a devastating win over Widnes, their fourth in a row.

After soaking up early Widnes pressure, the Tigers cut loose with unanswered tries from Greg Minikin twice, Michael Shenton and Greg Eden to lead 22-0.

They picked up where they left off after the break when Matt Cook and Eden finished off some slick play.

Luke Gale surpassed 1,500 points with his five goals.

Daryl Powell's Tigers were among the pre-season favourites to enjoy success in 2017 and they have lived up to their billing in each of their opening four games.

Leigh, Warrington and Leeds have all felt the force of the Tigers' slick attack in spells and Widnes were no exception in conceding six tries.

Eden and Minikin continued their personal try-scoring battle with both moving to eight in four games with spectacular finishes, while Shenton's try was the 100th of his career.

Widnes did pose a test initially in attack on their artificial surface with Marsh's try ruled out on the wing for a forward pass.

However, Denis Betts' side became the first team to be kept off the scoreboard by the West Yorkshire side since Harlequins in 2009 and are yet to win a game in the top flight this season.

Widnes head coach Denis Betts: "I'm not making idle threats to players but I have to look at what and where I can change things. I've got Jordan Johnstone and Ted Chapelhow to maybe look at and just see where I can change some things around.

"We're lacking some creative spark in the halves. I'm disappointed with the lack of response at half-time. The last 15-20 minutes they didn't create lots but scored when they got the chances.

"I asked for a response and I needed to see it and never got it. I just wanted to see a little bit of desire and it didn't come - I've not seen that before in this group. We were beaten by a very good side. You look at the way Cas played, when they got forward in the game they got confidence and they are a good side to watch.

"You want to see wingers touching down in one corner and then the other, sometimes I found it hard not to clap. I'm in pain watching it but they scored some very good tries."

Castleford head coach Daryl Powell: "We scored some really great tries but the thing that impressed and pleased me most was our defence. Widnes came at us early and we prevented them from getting over. I think the turning point came when we carried Danny Craven over the line.

"We spoke at half-time about keeping them out and keeping the nil. Our defence was outstanding. We scored some really good tries and showed some world-class pieces of skill. The plays are something we work on, they do not happen by accident. It (the play in the build-up to the tries) was pure class. Greg (Eden) reeled the ball in and it was outstanding to see.

"But to see them enjoy defending was great. It's going to be an interesting season."

Widnes: Hanbury; Thompson, Armstrong, Runciman, Marsh; Bridge, Craven; J. Chapelhow, White, Buchanan, Houston, Whitley, Cahill

Replacements: Heremaia, Leuluai, Olbison, Burke

Castleford: Hardaker; Monaghan, Minikin, Shenton, Eden; McShane, Gale; Lynch, Milner, Springer, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey.

Replacements: Moors, Millington, Cook, Roberts

Referee: Jack Smith

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