Super League: Castleford Tigers 34-20 Widnes Vikings
|First Utility Super League|
|Castleford (24) 34|
|Tries: Solomona 3, Webster, Cook, Carney Goals: Gale 5|
|Widnes (10) 20|
|Tries: Owens, Clarkson, Gilmore, Leuluai Goals: Owens 2|
Denny Solomona scored a hat-trick as Castleford enhanced their top-four bid and hurt Widnes' top-eight hopes.
The Tigers led 24-10 at half-time thanks to tries from Solomona, Jake Webster and Matt Cook, with Jack Owens and Chris Clarkson scoring in reply.
Justin Carney crossed to steady the Tigers after the break before Tom Gilmore and Macgraff Leuluai scored.
Solomona's third was enough to secure the two points, leaving the hosts fifth in Super League, with Widnes in 10th.
Widnes under Denis Betts have shown year-on-year improvement, but are in danger of missing out on the top eight at the split.
By contrast Castleford are in fine form and will fancy their chances of rising above West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield into the Super League top four.
It was a superb start for the hosts as Solomona profited from Castleford's dominance down the right side to score twice, both tries assisted by Luke Dorn.
Webster sneaked in from dummy-half to leave Widnes rocking, but the visitors fought back through Owens' try on the left and a powerful drive over from Clarkson.
Cook's glorious line took him through the Widnes cover to restore the points advantage at the break and as the weather turned wet and windy it was Cas who remained in control.
Carney made the most of a delightful kick from Luke Gale to score on the left, and despite tries by Gilmore and Leuluai, Solomona grabbed his third to secure two precious points.
Castleford coach Daryl Powell:
"To have done what we've done is a massive credit to everybody concerned.
"It always looked like it was going to be tough and we've won our last five games, which is awesome.
"When you looked at the last block (of fixtures) and you see Saints and Leeds in there, and Hull KR away, and you come out with them all, it's just fantastic.
"I'm really pleased for the whole club to back up last year and look good having rebuilt the team, and obviously the stadium news is another massive lift for everybody."
Widnes coach Denis Betts:
"A maximum six points might give us a chance but it'll be tough.
"It's an uphill struggle. We're in a bit of hole at the moment - we've got patches in games when we're playing exceptionally well and patches that aren't good enough.
"It's been a disappointing year so far but we've had some really good performances in there."
Castleford: Dorn, Solomona, Webster, Shenton, Carney, Finn, Gale, Lynch, Milner, Millington, O. Holmes, McMeeken, Massey.
Replacements: Roberts, Cook, Moors, Springer.
Widnes: Hanbury, Flynn, Dean, Craven, Owens, Gilmore, Mellor, Manuokafoa, Heremaia, Gerrard, Clarkson, Galea, Cahill.
Replacements: O'Carroll, Leuluai, Dudson, Isa.