Castleford Tigers defeated a young Hull FC team 42-10 at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle today to win the Harrison-Bryan Trophy, which is named after two former players – Jack Harrison VC of Hull FC and Thomas Bryan VC of Castleford – who both fought in the First World War and whose courage was recognised in each case with the award of the Victoria Cross.
The Tigers gave a debut to Zak Hardaker, who was named as the official man of the match, while Greg Eden returned to the Jungle after his spell with Brisbane Broncos to score a hat-trick of tries.
The Tigers opened the scoring early on when Mike McMeeken burst over the line after taking a smart pass from Rangi Chase, with Paul McShane adding the conversion.
The Tigers also had skipper Michael Shenton back in the side after he missed virtually the whole of the 2016 season with a knee ligament injury, and he combined with Hardaker for the former Leeds fullback to score his first try in Castleford colours.
Greg Minikin then added Castleford’s third try and they were clearly dominating their opponents.
Eden then scored his second under the posts after after supporting a Jake Webster break and McShane added his second conversion, before Minikin grabbed his second try from a Shenton offload to give the Tigers a 24-0 half-time lead.
The game was more evenly contested in the second half, but after 53 minutes Eden thrilled the home supporters with his third try, running the length of the field after collecting a kick.
Castleford coach Daryl Powell then began substituting some of his more experienced players, and Hull began to come back into the game, although Tuoyo Egodo was the next to score on his debut for the Tigers, and when Luke Million also scored on his debut it was another youngster, Calum Turner, who added the conversion for a 42-0 scoreline.
Hull finally got on the scoresheet with late tries by Callum Lancaster and Jez Litten, with Nathan Rawsthorne converting the second.
The Tigers fans gave a warm reception to new recruit Jesse Sene-Lefao when he came off the field after 70 minutes, and, although the opposition lacked a lot of their first-grade stars, Castleford will look forward to an exciting season ahead.