Hull KR 14-42 Castleford Tigers: Kieran Gill shines as Tigers gain advantage on top-four rivals in Super League

Castleford stole a march on their rivals for a top-four spot with a comfortable 42-14 victory over lowly Hull KR in their rearranged Betfred Super League fixture at KCOM Craven Park.

Rookie winger Kieran Gill, fresh from signing a new contract for 2019, scored two of the Tigers’ eight tries on his first appearance of the season as he helped his team reclaim fourth place in the table with another game in hand.

Castleford coach Daryl Powell told his players to toughen up after their crushing home defeat by St Helens and he will be delighted with their response as they brought Rovers crashing back to earth following their triumph over Wigan.

Rovers, who have not beaten Castleford at home for five years, never recovered from the shock of conceding four tries in the first 18 minutes and a 12th defeat of the season leaves them entrenched in the bottom four.

Tigers hooker Paul McShane was hugely impressive on his 200th Super League appearance while loose forward Adam Milner caught the eye on his 200th game for Castleford and Greg Eden made a tryscoring comeback on his 100th Super League appearance.

Eden was in his Grand Final position of full-back, with captain Michael Shenton reverting to centre and Gill drafted in for only his second appearance on the right wing.

It took Gill just five minutes to make his mark, taking Eden’s smart cut-out pass to cross for the opening try, and the full-back quickly added a second as he ran rings around the Rovers defenders for a solo effort.

Half-back Jamie Ellis, who played a key role in Hull KR’s promotion-winning season in 2017, then put makeshift centre Alex Foster through a gaping hole to touch down and prop Matt Cook crashed over from McShane’s pass close to the line.

Ellis converted three of the tries to make it 22-0 before Hull KR eventually managed to string a neat passing move together, resulting in winger Ryan Shaw crossing at the corner on 28 minutes.

Castleford’s trademark ability to attack from deep, witnessed so infrequently this season, was back in evidence when Foster broke clear from inside his own half and, after Ellis and Jess Sene-Lefao had kept the move going, McShane cleverly switched play to get Shenton over for a glorious try.

Leading 28-4 at the break, the visitors could not maintain their intensity in the second half but Gill took Ellis’ long, looping pass to score his second try and, not to be left out, left winger Jy Hitchcox forced his way over in the other corner.

Hull KR finished a well-beaten side but they finished with a flourish to put some consolation on the scoreboard.

Second rower Chris Clarkson pouncing for a try after Maurice Blair’s kick came back off a post and Shaw, who added the conversion, won the race to full-back Adam Quinlan’s kick to the corner for his second of the game.

There was still time for Hitchcox to grab his second try, latching onto McShane’s precision kick to the corner to wrap up the scoring.

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