Jy Hitchcox recorded a brace as Castleford Tigers moved 10 points clear at the top of Super League with a 32-24 victory at Catalans Dragons.
Castleford raced into the lead as Hitchcox opening the scoring before Zak Hardaker raced 90 metres to touch down another spectacular long-range effort.
The Dragons response was swift however as Lucas Albert dived under the posts before Tony Gigot and Fouad Yaha crossed to put the hosts in front at the break, despite Hardaker’s penalty goal from distance on the hooter.
Greg Minikin snatched the lead back for Castleford with an individual effort but they made their own task harder as Kevin Larroyer and Minikin were sinbinned in quick succession.
More indiscipline proved costly as Catalans were awarded a penalty try to move back in front but Hitchcox came up with a stunning acrobatic effort to complete his brace before Paul McShane made the points safe in the closing moments.
Catalans: 1 Tony Gigot, 33 Lewis Tierney, 3 Krisnan Inu, 18 Vincent Duport, 5 Fouad Yaha, 22 Lucas Albert, 7 Richie Myler, 8 Sam Moa, 9 Paul Aiton, 32 Romain Navarrete, 11 Louis Anderson, 12 Justin Horo, 13 Greg Bird; Subs: 14 Julian Bousquet, 15 Ben Garcia, 17 Jason Baitieri, 25 Thibaud Margalet.
Tries: Albert, Gigot, Yaha, Penalty; Goals: Gigot 4.
Castleford: 1 Zak Hardaker, 21 Joel Monaghan, 3 Greg Minikin, 4 Michael Shenton, 25 Jy Hitchcox, 16 Ben Roberts, 7 Luke Gale, 10 Grant Millington, 9 Paul McShane, 15 Jesse Sene-Lefao, 34 Alex Foster, 12 Mike McMeeken, 14 Nathan Massey; Subs: 8 Andy Lynch, 18 Matt Cook, 23 Tom Holmes, 33 Kevin Larroyer.
Tries: Hitchcox 2, Hardaker, Minikin, McShane; Goals: Gale 5, Hardaker 1.
More details from this game will feature in Monday’s League Express.