Tigers Claim Roger Millward Cup
Posted: Friday 1st June 2018 - 10:24 PM
Castleford Tigers clinched the inaugural Roger Millward Cup on Friday evening as they put Hull Kingston Rovers to the sword 42-14.
The black and amber required a response after their humbling defeat at the hands of St Helens last week, and they got in it spades at KCOM Craven Park. Youngster Kieran Gill particularly impressed for the visitors on the day he penned a new deal with the club, scoring two tries on his return.
Things were fairly end-to-end in the opening stages, but with the talent on display, it was never going to take long for points to emerge. In fact, it took just over six minutes, as Gill - in his comeback appearance – finished off a wonderful try in the corner, created by Greg Eden, another man returning to the fray after a spell on the sidelines.
Rovers messed up the restart, allowing Castleford another chance at the line straight away, and Eden didn’t need asking twice. Operating at fullback, he pounced on a loose ball and beat a couple of men before diving over. Sensational stuff from the man returning to familiar surroundings at Craven Park.
Following the two quick tries, the Tigers were firmly in the ascendency, with the hosts struggling to get out of their own half. Needless to say, more points were on the way. This time, Alex Foster came up with the score after receiving a beautiful short ball from Jamie Ellis.
Often in rugby league, when it rains, it pours – and that must have been how Rovers felt after 20 minutes when Matt Cook took his turn to rumble over from short range.
Eventually, the Robins did stem the flow and managed to get on the board via Ryan Shaw – a sharp move from Hull KR that the Tigers had no answer for in defence.
But, before the half time hooter sounded, Castleford once again stepped on the gas. On this occasion, skipper Michael Shenton came up with the decisive touch after the Tigers had broken from deep through Foster and put it through the hands.
The first few moments of the second period were always going to be vital as Rovers endeavoured for a try to keep them in the game.
Luckily for the Tigers, their defence held firm, denying this possibility, and created an opportunity for themselves.
Using territory gained from an obstruction penalty, Castleford moved the ball to the right edge with a smart run-around play and eventually found Gill, who did supremely well to dive over for his second try of the night.
Hull KR attempted to rally as time drew on, but Castleford’s quality was undoubtedly shining through. Jy Hitchcox was the next man to get on the board for the black and amber, cutting inside and beating three men as he lunged for the try line.
With just over quarter of an hour remaining, Rovers found some joy as Chris Clarkson dropped on a loose ball that had clipped the post pad on the way through. A stroke of luck for the hosts, but too little and too late to muster any kind of meaningful comeback attempt.
KR continued to have a go as the clock ticked down, and Shaw bagged his brace with moments to go. However, the Tigers saw out the 80 minutes with no further drama, as Paul McShane threaded in a beautiful kick to serve up Hitchcox’s second try of the night on a silver platter, securing an important two points and the Roger Millward Cup.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 42-14 Hull Kingston Rovers
Eden, Hitchcox, Shenton, Foster, Gill, Ellis, Trueman, Watts, McShane, Cook, Wardle, McMeeken, Milner
Millington, Holmes, Massey, Sene-Lefao
Tries: Gill (2), Eden, Foster, Cook, Shenton, Hitchcox (2)
Conversions: Ellis (5/8)
Hull Kingston Rovers
Quinlan, Shaw, Salter, Vaivai, Moss, Lee, Blair, Kavanagh, Smith, Greenwood, Clarkson, Tickle, Donaldson
Masoe, Scruton, Atkin, Walne
Tries: Shaw (2), Clarkson
Conversions: Shaw (1/3)
*Match Report by Ross Williams, photograph courtesy of Melanie Allatt
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