Rugby League: Sammut has imperfect day

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GATESHEAD'S BEN SAMMUT had a day to forget at The New Shay yesterday. The Thunder's full-back gifted Halifax three tries and dropped the ball on several occasions as the troubled Yorkshire side gathered a 35-14 win that dented the new side's hopes of a top-five finish.

Gateshead opened the scoring when Craig Wilson, Brett Grogan, Ian Herron and Tony Grimaldi exchanged quick paces to feed Willy Peters for the try

Herron who had missed an earlier long-range penalty was again off target and then Halifax took control.

Man of the match Paul Rowley, who excelled in his unfamiliar scrum-half role, fed Des Clark and the big Aussie freed his fellow countryman Damien Gibson to score.

Rowley raced over himself and then kicked a drop goal to put Halifax 13-4 in front after 22 minutes.

Herron was at last on target with a penalty before Peters took an audacious pass from Adrian Maher on his boot-laces to hold off Dave Bouveng to score under the posts.

Herron gave Thunder a one-point lead with a penalty just after the restart but then Sammut dropped the first of his clangers as he knocked on a Holroyd penalty and Cardiss raced over.

The game then turned when Thunder had a try ruled out when Steve Collins was adjudged to be on his back when he collected a high kick.

Forty seconds later, Nick Pinkney touched down his own kick-through as Sammut stood and watched.

Holroyd's touchline conversion gave the Sox a 23-14 lead and that became 29-14 when Cardiss made the most of more Sammut spectating to get the second of his two tries.

David Hodgson sprinted clear late on to complete the rout.

Castleford maintained their challenge for a Super League play-off place with a fourth victory in five games.

The Tigers ran in six tries in a 38-10 romp to wreck Salford's hopes of gaining their first away league victory of the season. The Reds, who never looked likely to avenge their Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat at Wheldon Road in March, remain in the relegation mire, only three points above bottom-club Hull.

There was more good news for the home side as their stand-off Danny Orr, who missed the game with an arm injury but should be back for Sunday's match against Gateshead, has signed a new four-year contract.