Super League: Castleford Tigers 64-18 London Broncos

Justin Carney
Carney's hat-trick against London Broncos was his second Super League treble of the season
Castleford Tigers (28) 64
Tries: Dorn 2, Carney 3, Wheeldon, Shenton, Carvell, Mariano, Dixon 2, Milner Goals: Sneyd 8
London Broncos (12) 18
Tries: Krasniqi, Dollapi, McMeeken Goals: Drinkwater 3

Justin Carney scored a first-half hat-trick as Castleford moved to within two points of the Super League summit by beating bottom side London Broncos.

Olsi Krasniqi and Erjon Dollapi tries either side of Luke Dorn's first effort put London ahead on 20 minutes.

Carney's treble and Scott Wheeldon's score put Tigers 28-12 up at the break.

Kirk Dixon (2), Dorn, Michael Shenton, Garreth Carvell, Frankie Mariano and Adam Milner also went in for Cas before Mike McMeeken scored a consolation try.

Victory sees Castleford remain fourth, but they go equal on points with Leeds and Wigan on 32 competition points, just two behind St Helens, after the Super League leaders lost to Hull FC on Friday.

The winless Broncos went ahead on nine minutes, with Krasniqi taking a short ball from Josh Drinkwater and rounding Dorn to score under the posts.

But Castleford's response was emphatic, as Dixon defused a high kick in his own in-goal, taking a quick tap before feeding former London man Dorn, who raced 70 metres to the Broncos line.

Drinkwater orchestrated London's second touchdown, linking up with replacement Dollapi.

The already relegated Broncos then failed to deal with a low kick from Liam Finn, allowing Carney to cross for the first of his three tries in nine minutes.

Marc Sneyd set the Australian up for his second with a neat kick and the winger added a third with a devastating run to the corner.

Finn booted a 40/20 to deepen London's woes and that gave the Tigers the field position to go in for their fifth try of the afternoon, Wheeldon touching down after good work by Jamie Ellis.

London had a try disallowed for obstruction after the break, with Shenton then taking a pass from Sneyd to cross for the first of eight unanswered Tigers tries in the second half.

Carvell powered his way over from close range and Mariano got on the outside of his man to touch down, before Dixon collected a clever Finn kick for his first.

Dorn completed his brace following a break by Gibson, and Dixon grabbed a double from an Ellis kick.

Milner's try from the restart, beginning with Carney inside the Tigers' 20, was the highlight of a one-sided match as Castleford extended their unbeaten run to six matches.

Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell:

"It was a tough game for a period, they rattled us a little bit early on.

"We were a bit sloppy defensively and they got some points on us which probably made us a little bit nervous.

"We'll be well prepared next week (Challenge Cup semi-final against Widnes). It's felt like an age trying to get to a point where we can talk about this semi-final. We've got it in front of us now and nothing else matters - it's one game and we need to get it right."

London Broncos coach Joe Grima:

"It was a perfect start. We knew exactly what we were doing and what Cas were going to throw at us.

"By a country mile that was our best 20 minutes of any performance this year.

"Some of things that are pleasing are: we did score last, we did have some energy and the encouraging thing is the respect the Cas fans showed us just assured us there should be a London team around."

Sunday's line-ups

Castleford Tigers: Dorn; Dixon, Gibson, Shenton, Carney; Sneyd, Finn, Jewitt, Milner, Huby, Holmes, Webster, Massey.

Replacements: Mariano, Wheeldon, Ellis, Carvell.

London Broncos: Farrar; Atkins, Minns, Mataitonga, Solomona; Keyes, Drinkwater; Slyney, Moore, Krasniqi, McMeeken, Vea, Cook.

Replacements: Wicks, Griffin, Wallace, Dollapi.

Attendance: 5,233

Referee: Joe Cobb (RFL)