Rugby League: Sharks mauled by Tigers

Castleford Tigers 44 Hull Sharks 16
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CASTLEFORD MAINTAINED their challenge for a Super League play- off spot by crushing relegation-threatened Hull.

The Tigers ran in eight tries to wreck the Sharks' hopes of their first away win for three months. The Castleford outside-half Danny Orr led the romp with a try and six conversions.

The Castleford coach, Stuart Raper, praised Castleford's backs after their rousing performance at Wheldon Road. "Our outside backs rarely miss chances - give them an opportunity and they will take it. We picked up another two points so I have got to be happy."

Raper also paid tribute to his younger brother Aaron, the Tigers hooker, saying: "He is starting to play some of his best football."

The Hull coach, Steve Crooks, meanwhile, lamented his side's poor ball control in a defeat which left them in relegation trouble. "We turned the ball over eight times in our own 30 metre area and you can't get away with that," he said. "The only positive thing is that it is a learning curve for our younger players and it will be valuable for them."

Hull were never in the game and were 28-4 down at half-time.

The Tigers made a flying start when Brad Davis' kick set up a third minute touchdown for the former Hull player Richard Gay.

Three minutes later the full-back Jason Flowers finished a flowing move and Orr added the goal to put the Tigers 10-0 up. And it was not long before Castleford went further ahead, Aaron Raper's long pass sending centre Francis Maloney striding over.

Hull's fragile defence was split open again when Orr and Flowers linked to put Davis in after 25 minutes. The Tigers had the points in the bag when they made it 28-0 four minutes before half-time, Orr and Raper linking to put Gay in for his second.

Hull finally opened their account shortly before the break when Johan Windley made the opening for Rob Roberts to grab their first score. But they were soon on the receiving end again in the second half when Davis sent winger Darren Rogers in for Castleford's sixth try.

It was followed by one from substitute Paul Smith, which made it 40-4. Hull staged a mini revival with tries from Ian Pickavance and Jim Leatham, both goaled by Roberts, but Castleford had the last word when Orr went over two minutes from time.

Castleford: Flowers, Gay, Eagar, Maloney, Rogers, Orr, Davis, Sampson, Raper, Sykes, Harland, Fritz, Vowles. Substitutes: Smith, Tonks, Hepi, Wells.

Hull: Poucher, Baildon, Parker, Campbell, Lee, Purcell, Windley, Harrison, King, Craven, Pickavance, M Smith, Roberts. Substitutes: Seru, Nolan, Leatham, Booth.

Referee: S Ganson (St Helens).

n Leigh remain in top spot in the Northern Ford Premiership despite making heavy weather of lowly Lancashire Lynx.

Lynx shocked the Centurians by establishing a 6-0 lead and it was 14- 14 midway through the second half. Then late tries Kieron Purtill (2) and Heath Cruickshank eased Leigh home.

Goal kicker Paul Wingfield celebrated his 21st birthday with six goals from seven attempts.