Super League: Castleford Tigers 38-14 Salford Red Devils
|Betfred Super League|
|Castleford (18) 38|
|Tries: Eden 2, Roberts, Monaghan 2, Hardaker Goals: Gale 7|
|Salford (10) 14|
|Tries: O'Brien, Welham, Bibby Goal: Dobson|
Super League's leading try-scorer Greg Eden scored twice in leaders Castleford's win over Salford, but also suffered a shoulder injury.
Eden scored his 33rd and 34th tries of the season but injured his shoulder as he landed badly when diving in the corner for the second of his scores.
Ben Roberts, Joel Monaghan (twice) and Zak Hardaker also scored for the hosts, with Luke Gale kicking seven goals.
Gareth O'Brien, Kris Welham and Jake Bibby crossed for the Red Devils.
Castleford were already without influential players Adam Milner (ankle) and Jake Webster (rib) as they aimed to move closer to a first Super League title.
Eden was taken to hospital, with Castleford fearing a serious injury for a player who has scored 14 more tries than any other Super League player this season.
The injury overshadowed a fine performance by the Tigers, who maintained their unbeaten home league record this season to remain eight points clear of Leeds Rhinos.
Eden, who played five games for Salford during a loan spell in 2014, put Castleford ahead inside three minutes after a fine pass from Gale, who then hit the post with his conversion attempt - his only failure in the match.
Salford beat Castleford in March and the Red Devils soon levelled when Eden's handling error led to O'Brien jinking past two home players to score.
But a brilliant individual try from Roberts, powering through two Salford challenges, restored Castleford's advantage and they did not fall behind again.
The crucial moment came in the 24th minute with Eden's spectacular dive in the corner to score, but he landed badly and looked in pain as he left the field with his arm in a sling.
Salford scored their second try of the match, with Welham finishing off after Robert Lui had sprinted past three Castleford players, to trail 18-10 at half-time.
After the break, the visitors thought they had scored but Bibby, under pressure from Castleford's Jy Hitchcox, dropped the ball as he dived over the line.
That proved costly as Monaghan and Hardaker ran through for further scores for the hosts as Castleford recorded their 19th win in 22 Super League matches this season.
Salford's Bibby made up for his earlier error by crossing in the corner, but it was not enough to stop the Tigers.
Castleford coach Daryl Powell:
"I'm really disappointed for Greg Eden. He'll probably be out for the year with that, which is a massive blow. He's been going awesome for us.
"But (Joel) Monaghan is a proven winger and scored a couple of tries himself. We've got Jy Hitchcox who has done pretty well for us and Greg Minikin of course.
"This happens. Every team has to deal with a little bit of adversity. We'll just crack on.
"We weren't at our best tonight. We pulled some smart bits out in both halves and we made too many errors, particularly in the first half, but we defended really well for the most part."
Salford coach Ian Watson:
"I thought our middles stood up really well but we've been let down by our defence, which I don't think anyone will disagree with. It's something we need to fix up and we will do.
"We'll play Cas again and we'll see how we go then. We'll be better for this experience come the Super 8s.
"We'll come back here pretty confident if we have to play them here in the Super 8s."
Castleford Tigers: Hardaker; Hitchcox, Minikin, Shenton, Eden; Roberts, Gale; Millington, McShane, Sene-Lefao, Foster, McMeeken, Massey.
Replacements: Lynch, Springer, Monaghan, Larroyer.
Salford Red Devils: O'Brien; Bibby, Welham, Jones, Evalds; Carney, Dobson; Griffin, Tomkins, Murray, Murdoch-Masila, Lannon, Hauraki.
Replacements: Lui, Walne, Tasi, Krasniqi.
Referee: Phil Bentham