Super League: Castleford Tigers 13-12 Widnes Vikings
|Betfred Super League|
|Castleford (4) 13|
|Tries: Minikin, Hitchcox Con: Gale Pen: Gale Drop-goal: Gale|
|Widnes (0) 12|
|Try: Whitley, Chaplehow Con: Gilmore 2|
Tries from Greg Minikin and Jy Hitchcox and the boot of Luke Gale helped Castleford recover from their drubbing by St Helens with victory over Widnes.
Minikin scored the opening try late in the first half, holding off two defenders to touch down.
Widnes responded through Matt Whitley's converted try to take the lead but Cas hit back with Hitchcox's converted try and a penalty and drop-goal from Gale.
Jay Chapelhow scored late on for the Vikings but the Tigers held on.
Widnes, who had beaten Catalans Dragons in their opening match of the season, moved ahead 10 minutes into the second half as Whitley collected Tom Gilmore's grubber kick.
But Castleford responded just after the hour mark as Jamie Ellis' cross-field kick was batted back and possession was moved left to send Hitchcox over.
The lead was extended through the boot of Gale, who slotted a penalty from in front of the posts and added a drop-goal to put Castleford 13-6 ahead with eight minutes remaining.
And the drop-goal proved decisive as Chapelhow collected a short pass from Danny Walker to set up a frantic finish.
With time running out, Gilmore twice attempted to kick a drop-goal to level the scores and earn a draw but both efforts were off target.
Castleford coach Daryl Powell:
"We needed to win and in some ways that's why we looked nervous at times.
"I'm really pleased with the two points and I'm not a big fan of the World Club Challenge stopping the season by a week but at the moment it'll give us a bit of breathing space.
"I'm looking forward to this next two weeks. We need to chill out and relax a bit. It'll come for us."
Widnes head coach Denis Betts:
"I think a win would have been the right result. It was a tough game. Both sides wanted to play but couldn't because of the heavy pitch.
"We competed with the side that played in the Grand Final and completely dominated the league last year.
"I want them to be disappointed. We came here for two points and we're still only on two points after putting two massive efforts in. No matter how much effort we put in we've got to get some points."
Castleford: Roberts, Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Hitchcox, Ellis, Gale, Millington, McShane, Foster, Holmes, McMeeken, Milner
Interchanges: Moors, Massey, Sene-Lefao, Cook
Widnes: Hanbury, Ashall, Runciman, Inu, Marsh, Mellor, Gilmore, Chapelhow, Walker, Burke, Dean, Whitley, Houston
Interchanges: Wilde, Albert, Cahill, Olbison