Greg Eden scored a hat-trick of tries as Castleford Tigers returned to winning ways with a hard-fought 38-24 win over Hull Kingston Rovers at the Totally Wicked stadium.
The kick-off was delayed by an hour due to traffic congestion as both sides made their way across the Pennines.
Further drama had occurred before the match as Hull KR Head Coach Tony Smith was forced to self-isolate due to fears of contracting the coronavirus.
Story of the match
Castleford made a fantastic start as they ran into a 24-0 lead inside 25 minutes.
An earlier knock-on by Kane Linnett allowed Jacques O’Neill to squeeze his way over for the opening try from acting half.
Then a power-play saw Mike McMeeken’s offload ‘hacked’ on by Alex Foster who grounded the loose ball moments before Hull KR’s Ben Crooks could clear the danger.
Shortly after, Cheyse Blair went close after his line break down the right before a misjudged tackle by Weller Hauraki enabled Adam Milner enough momentum to power his way over between the posts.
The Robins then decided to chance their arm but a mistimed offload from Hauraki was intercepted by Eden, who eased his way over from 50 metres.
The Tigers were in cruise control but Hull KR stormed back with three tries in just ten minutes.
A forward pass on halfway by O’Neill eventually saw Robbie Mulhern surge over from Elliot Minchella’s final pass.
Then Minchella scored one for himself after chasing a grubber kick by Jordan Abdull.
The third saw a superb bullet pass from Rowan Milnes send Shaun Kenny-Dowall over, with three goals from Will Dagger bringing the score to 24-18.
The Tigers then almost pinched a try back just before half-time but had to settle for a penalty goal after the Robins’ scrambling defence was eventually caught offside.
The Tigers were soon back in business as a line break by Michael Shenton took Castleford close to the try line before a cut-out pass by Paul McShane allowed Eden in for his second try.
The Robins soon came back and following a try ruled out by the video referee for Matty Gee, KR pounced as Matt Parcell found a gap and went over from ten metres.
An eight-point ball game once again but the Tigers battled back and eventually closed the game out with their final try.
A smart ‘run-around’ play by McShane and Junior Moors enabled the former to put Eden over to complete his hat-trick late on, with a final penalty goal from Richardson finishing things off.