Rugby League: Castleford celebrate: Steadman strikes with late try

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The Independent Online
Hull Kingston Rovers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Castleford. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

A TRY three minutes from time by Graham Steadman gave Castleford the one unresolved place in the third round of the Regal Trophy last night, but Rovers almost punished the visitors for sitting back on a 12-0 lead. Steadman showed all his old pace in winning the race from his own kick ahead, but the tie should have been secured long before that.

Castleford got over a shaky start, which saw them make far too many handling errors, when Richard Blackmore picked up a loose ball for a strong run up field. Lee Crooks exploited the position with a neat pass to Tony Morrison, who went over with ease to leave Crooks with an equally simple goal.

Castleford dominated territorially, but their second try owed almost everything to luck. Tony Kemp put in a dangerous long kick and Julien Barkworth's attempt at a clearing hack hit the post and rebounded perfectly for Simon Middleton to touch down.

Rovers, for all the willing work of their props, Chris Harrison and Wayne Jackson, and the tireless prompting of their stand-in scrum- half, Gary Chatfield, had shown little idea of how to break through a Castleford defence that has been in parsimonious mood.

Despite steady pressure, it came as a surprise when Chatfield found a gap and darted through for a try which Mike Fletcher improved.

Castleford did eventually pay for going off the boil, Chatfield's kick catching them out and Paul Fletcher going over from Mick Crane's pass. Mike Fletcher's goal brought the scores level with 12 minutes to go.

Hull KR: M Fletcher; Barkworth, Liddiard, Bibby, Sodje; Crane, Chatfield; Harrison, Chamberlain, Jackson, P Fletcher, Hutchinson (Clark, 34), Leighton.

Castleford: Steadman; Ellis, Blackmore, Anderson (Smith, 34), Middleton; Kemp, Ford; Crooks, Russell, Ketteridge, Morrison, Smales, Nikau.

Referee: D Campbell (Widnes).

Andy Gregory will sign an 18-month deal with Salford today. The 32-year-old former Great Britain scrum-half will move from Leeds for pounds 10,000 and make his debut at Hull KR on Sunday.

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