Castleford Tigers held out a strong challenge from Salford Red Devils while suffering the loss of Paul McShane at half-time to register a 29-18 victory in the opening game of the Dacia Magic Weekend to sustain their challenge for a play-off spot.
The Tigers were never behind, but the Red Devils were able to draw level twice in the first half before Oliver Holmes touched down on 38 minutes to give them a 16-12 interval lead.
It was McShane who gave the Tigers an early lead with a smartly taken try from dummy-half in the eighth minute, but the Red Devils replied with a try for Ken Sio, cleverly created by Tui Lolohea six minutes later.
The Tigers were in front again when Daniel Smith stepped inside Greg Burke to touch down, but the Red Devils were level again when Oliver Roberts was tackled near the line and got his pass out to Joe Burgess for the touchdown.
Then came Holmes try just before the interval, although the Tigers’ faithful must have felt apprehensive when McShane failed to appear for the second half with an ankle injury.
Jordan Turner extended their lead, however, on 50 minutes and even though Ata Hingano replied seven minutes later, man of the match Peter Mata’utia scored the winning try on 73 minutes and Turner added a last-minute field-goal for the final scoreline.
Tigers: T – McShane (8), Smith (18), Holmes (38), Turner (50), Mata’utia (73); G – Mata’utia 4/5; FG – Turner (80)
Red Devils: Sio (14), Burgess (25), Hingano (57); G – Inu 3/3
A full report and photos from this and all the Magic Weekend games will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express