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Showing posts with label RUGBY-LEAGUE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RUGBY-LEAGUE. Show all posts

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Super League play-offs: Leeds Rhinos 20-24 Catalan Dragons

Super League play-offs: Leeds Rhinos 20-24 Catalan Dragons

Super League elimination final

Leeds Rhinos (14)
Tries: Ablett, Watkins, Jones-Buchanan Goals: Sinfield 3, Hardaker
Catalan Dragons (6)
Tries: Williams2,Taia, Anderson Goals: Bosc 4
Sam Williams snatched a dramatic late try as Catalan Dragons earned their first win at Headingley to end Leeds' hopes of a league and cup double.
Leeds' Carl Ablett opened the scoring before Williams grabbed a first try.
A converted Kallum Watkins try and Zak Hardaker's penalty put the Challenge Cup holders 14-6 up at the break.
Tries from Zeb Taia and Louis Anderson put Dragons ahead only for Jamie Jones-Buchanan to cross for Leeds before Williams got his second to seal it.
Victory sets up a preliminary semi-final at Huddersfield on Friday after the Giants were forced into an elimination play-off match following their 57-4 loss at Wigan.
Defeat ends a disappointing Super League campaign for Leeds, who have failed to win in a league game since July. Their form comes in stark contrast to their Challenge Cup winning exploits at Wembley last month, having claimed their their 12th crown with a 23-10 final win over Castleford.
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker; Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall; McGuire, Sinfield; Leuluai, Burrow, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Delaney.
Replacements: Aiton, Bailey, Achurch, Sutcliffe.
Catalan Dragons: Escare; Oldfield, Pomeroy, Duport, Millard; Bosc, Williams; Elima, Henderson, Anderson, Taia, Whitehead, Mounis.
Replacements: Lima, Pelissier, Bousquet, Garcia.
Referee: Phil Bentham (RFL)

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Rugby Championship: Australia make changes to face Argentina

Rugby Championship: Australia make changes to face Argentina

Australia have recalled hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau among three changes for Saturday's Rugby Championship match against Argentina.
Polota-Nau, 29, has been brought in to help counter the Pumas' driving forward play while Peter Betham and Ben McCalman also start.
Argentina have also made three changes with Juan Imhoff, Manuel Montero and rookie Matias Alemanno coming in.
The Wallabies have not lost to Argentina in eight Tests over 17 years.
Australia are third in the four-team championship with six points from three games, while Argentina are bottom with two points.
Australia: Folau, Betham, Kuridrani, Toomua, Horne, Foley, Phipps, McCalman, Hooper (capt), Fardy, Simmons, Carter, Kepu, Polota-Nau, Slipper. Replacements: Hanson, Cowan, Alexander, Horwill, Higginbotham, Hodgson, White, Beale.
Argentina: Tuculet, Imhoff, Bosch, Hernandez, Montero, Sanchez, Landajo, Senatore, Leguizamon, Lobbe, Alemanno, Galarza, Herrera, Creevy (capt), Ayerza. Replacements: Cortese, Postiglioni, Chaparro, Macome, Baez, Cubelli, De la Fuente, Amorosino.

Rugby World Cup: Fans may not gain entry with tickets from touts

Rugby World Cup: Fans may not gain entry with tickets from touts

Fans have been warned they may be refused entry to next year's World Cup if they do not buy tickets through the official channels when they go on sale.
Reports suggest criminal gangs are plotting to buy tickets  and sell them on at inflated prices.
England Rugby 2015's Joanna Manning-Cooper said: "Our ticketing terms and conditions are strict.
"We reserve the right to refuse entry if tickets have not been purchased through official channels."
England Rugby 2015 failed to persuade the government to make touting of Rugby World Cup tickets illegal.
The ticket agency Ticketmaster has introduced measures to combat touts, who will use sophisticated software to flood its website with ticket applications for high-demand games.
Ahead of tickets going on sale at 10am on Friday, communications director Manning-Cooper added: "We are doing everything we can to make sure tickets get into the hands of fans who want to come to the tournament, and not to touts who simply want to sell them on at a profit."

Key fixtures in the 2015 Rugby World Cup

18 September: England v Fiji, Pool A, Twickenham
26 September: England v Wales, Pool A, Twickenham
3 October: South Africa v Scotland, Pool B, St James' Park
3 October: England v Australia, Pool A, Twickenham
10 October: Australia v Wales, Pool A, Twickenham
11 October: France v Ireland, Pool D, Millennium Stadium

The World Cup begins on 18 September next year when England face Fiji at Twickenham. There are 20 countries taking part in the tournament, including reigning champions New Zealand, who beat France 8-7 in the final in Auckland in 2011.
Wembley, the Millennium Stadium, Elland Road and Villa Park are among the venues being used.
Ticket prices for adults start at £15 for low-profile games such as Samoa v USA at Brighton Community Stadium but rise to £715 for the best seats at the final at Twickenham on 31 October.
The cheapest adult seats for England's opener against Fiji at Twickenham are £75 and rise to £315; for Wales' first game at the Millennium Stadium against the play-off winners they range from £50 to £175; the same pricing structure is in place for Ireland v Canada at the same venue; while tickets for Scotland v Japan at Kingsholm start at £20 and go up to £85.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Alphonsi, McGilchrist and Merchant retire from England duty

Alphonsi, McGilchrist and Merchant retire from England duty

Three of England Women's World Cup-winning side have announced their retirement from international rugby.
Flanker Margaret Alphonsi, second row Joanna McGilchrist and wing Katherine Merchant have all decided to end their England careers with immediate effect.
All three players played an instrumental part during England's 21-9 triumph against Canada in August.
Alphonsi made her debut against the USA in 2003, while Merchant has collected 58 caps and scored 44 England tries.
Play media

Women's Rugby World Cup: England react to final win over Canada
Lock McGilchrist won her 63rd and final cap in the World Cup final, having made her international bow against Scotland in 2007.
Commenting on the retirement of Alphonsi, England head coach Gary Street said: "One of the most pleasing things about winning the World Cup is the recognition that Maggie has had.
"In my eyes she has been a world champion for the 11 years she has been playing for England. She plays every international like it's a World Cup final.
"It's only fitting this is now officially recognised with a gold medal."

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Piri Weepu: London Welsh turn to All Blacks World Cup 'saviour'

Piri Weepu: London Welsh turn to All Blacks World Cup 'saviour'

Soon after losing his place in the All Blacks squad last year, their unofficial World Cup saviour Piri Weepu
Piri Weepu poster campaign
All Blacks fans reproduced the famous Second World War poster, following Weepu's heroics
It was a message that would prove prophetic. Six months later the popular half-back suffered a minor stroke and required surgery to repair a hole in his heart.
A further six months on and here he is at London Welsh, preparing to dip his toes into the unfamiliar waters of England's Premiership as the promoted club begin life back among the elite at their adopted Oxford home against Exeter on Sunday.
Having left his three young children - daughters of three and four, and a 20-month-old son - behind in New Zealand, Weepu, who turns 31 on Sunday, can hardly be accused of taking the soft option by coming to south-west London, where the Exiles train at their former Old Deer Park home.
But no matter how lonely he gets in the flat above a Richmond cafe he is sharing with Australian flanker Lachlan McCaffrey, Weepu's recent health scare helps him keep things in perspective.
Nothing will compare to the dark moments he experienced earlier this year when, after suffering blurred vision and unable to communicate properly following a training session with the Blues Super 15 team, a neurologist told him he had suffered a minor stroke.

Weepu on his health problems

"I'm not going to lie. I cried. I cried in front of my team-mates. It was quite scary and hard to swallow."
"Telling my mum what had happened on the phone was difficult," he said. "Straight after that I had to tell my team-mates and having one of my very close team-mates in the room (All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu) at the same time was very difficult. I'm not going to lie. I cried. I cried in front of my team-mates. It was quite scary and hard to swallow."
It was a far cry from the adulation and attention Weepu enjoyed three years ago when he rescued New Zealand from an unthinkable World Cup quarter-final exit on home soil by kicking 23 points against Argentina in the absence of the injured Dan Carter.
Piri Weepu fans
After kicking seven out of eight penalties in the World Cup quarter-final Weepu became a cult hero
A 'Piri Weepu for Prime Minister' Facebook page was soon created, fans wore 'Keep Calm, Piri's On' T-shirts for the semi-final against Australia, and he was nicknamed 'Mr Fix-It' by the rugby-obsessed nation's media.
Weepu would later lead the haka in the final against France, the video of which has since been viewed more than 2.5 million times on YouTube. With World Cup glory finally secured after a 24-year wait, the scrum-half was a cult hero in his homeland.
A loss of form and the emergence of several younger All Blacks scrum-halves saw the 71-cap half-back lose his place in the New Zealand squad last August, but his enthusiasm for his sport remains undimmed.
Even before the heart operation following his stroke, Weepu's thoughts were already focused on his return. He counts himself incredibly fortunate.
"Before surgery we talked about recovery time and I asked how quickly I could get back out on the pitch after the op," he said.
"There was no doubt I would play again. I would have tried anything to get back on the field. I never thought about not playing again.

Piri Weepu factfile

Born: 7 September 1983, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Height: 1.78m
Position: Scrum-half/fly-half
Weight: 94kg
Club: London Welsh
New Zealand Appearances: 71
Did you know?: He is the brother of former rugby league professional Billy Weepu.
Did you know?: Weepu has also played for the New Zealand Under 21 indoor netball team.
"If footie is your life then you do everything possible. I was lucky. You get some guys with injured necks and things like that who try and do everything possible but it doesn't work out."
'The Saviour' now finds himself tasked with performing similar inspirational feats among the merry band of journeymen at London Welsh.
With options limited following his stroke, a chance meeting at the World Club 10s tournament in Singapore - "a few cheeky beers one night seemed to do the trick," joked Welsh's head coach Justin Burnell - stoked Weepu's curiosity sufficiently to persuade him to become one of 25 new players recruited by the club following promotion from the Championship.
"They were the only option available to me at the time," Weepu tells BBC Sport. "After the stroke everything went downhill in terms of opportunities so I was very fortunate when Justin approached me in Singapore and asked if I would be interested."
It could be several months before he sees his family again. Skype and Facetime will have to suffice in the meantime.
"It was difficult to walk away, it definitely was," he adds. "But for me I guess it is a last opportunity to come over here and get a taste of the Premiership."
Weepu and his daughter
Weepu leaves behind in New Zealand his two daughters and a son
The Weepu of today is softly spoken and unassuming, a broad smile never far away, although he hasn't always been to everyone's taste. For a player once described as "a walking disciplinary nightmare: lippy, bolshie and boozy"  , it is evident Weepu is already hugely popular at Welsh.
He is almost embarrassed at the suggestion the presence of a World Cup winner in their ranks is a huge boost for the Premiership newcomers. "I hadn't really thought about it like that," he says. "I'm just looking at it as an opportunity to play some footie and take on this new challenge."
Despite his achievements, Weepu's motivation is as strong as ever, even if he is a little wider around the waist than he used to be. He feels he has an awful lot to prove to people and more importantly to himself, having constantly faced criticism over his weight.
"The motivation is still pretty good," he says. "I guess I'm trying to prove a point to myself that I can do the job. I've had to do that throughout my career, prove a point. If I'm no good then shoot me.
"I'm here to do a job and I want to make sure I do a good job; hopefully everything else falls into place with the rest of the team."
Weepu, who began life at London Welsh by taking on water-boy duties in a friendly against Pontypridd, intends to fully immerse himself in the culture of the club and his new surroundings.
Piri Weepu
Weepu is contracted to London Welsh for two seasons and is one of 25 new signings
Old mates and compatriots in other sports around the country and across the Channel can also expect a visit.
He hopes to watch footballing compatriot Winston Reid play for West Ham in the Premier League, and his good friend David Maniapoto-Faiumu for rugby league side Huddersfield Giants. Trips to France to catch up with Toulouse prop Neemia Tialata are also on the agenda.
He is also enjoying discovering the joys of London's Tube network.
While he will miss his children the most, his mother's cooking comes a close second. A well-known local burger restaurant in Richmond may see a lot of the former Hurricanes and Blues star.
He is contracted to Welsh for two seasons and, after all the recent uncertainty, is not looking beyond that.
"I haven't thought too far ahead, I'm focused on doing the best job I can do," he says.

Pro12: Scarlets 32-32 Ulster

Pro12: Scarlets 32-32 Ulster

Scarlets (24) 32
Tries: Robinson, Pitman, G Davies 2
Cons: Priestland 3 Pens: Priestland 2
Ulster (15) 32
Tries: Van der Merwe, Tuohy, Ludik, Trimble
Con: Humphreys 3 Pens: Humphreys 2
Ulster fought back from 27-15 down to earn a bonus-point draw in a dramatic finish against Scarlets in Llanelli.
Andrew Trimble rounded the home defence late on after Scarlets had Liam Williams sent off for two yellow cards.
Fly-half Ian Humphreys added the conversion to level.
Gareth Davies scored two home tries and debutants Harry Robinson and Rory Pitman went over while Franco van der Merwe, Dan Tuohy and Louis Ludik crossed for the visitors.
Three-times capped Wales wing Harry Robinson gave the Scarlets a dream start, crossing wide on the right after two minutes and Rhys Priestland added the first of three conversions.
Gareth Davies of Scarlets is tackled by Robbie Diack and Callum Black of Ulster
Gareth Davies of Scarlets is tackled by Robbie Diack and Callum Black of Ulster
Priestland also kicked two penalties as he marked his return from the knee injury that ruled him out of Wales' summer tour to South Africa with a 12-point haul.
But missing the conversion of scrum-half Gareth Davies' second try - that looked to have given the hosts a bonus-point win - proved costly for the hosts.
Ulster responded to the Scarlets' bright opening when South Africa lock Van der Merwe went over after centre Stuart Olding's break for Humphreys to kick his first conversion.
Priestland fired over his first penalty as the hosts' early scrum dominance was rewarded.
However, Ulster went ahead for the only time in the game when Van der Merwe's lock partner Tuohy was freed.
Pitman, the former Osprey and Wasps player, had to rely on video ref Tim Hayes to confirm his outstretched arm had done enough to be awarded Scarlets' second try, converted by Priestland.
Humphreys replied with a penalty to keep the game tight.
But as the break approached, home lock Jake Ball reacted wisely after his interception to send Wales cap Davies on a 60-metre run to the line.
Gareth Davies on his way to the line
Gareth Davies on his way to the line
Priestland's conversion gave Wayne Pivac's side a 24-15 half-time lead that the Wales fly-half extended with a penalty soon after the break.
Humphreys responded with a second penalty, kicked after Wales full-back Williams was judged to have deliberately knocked on to thwart an Ulster attack, earning his first yellow card.
Davies' second try came after Gareth Owen's telling break and good work by Williams and Pitman.
But Priestland could not convert, and when full-back Ludik was sent over by Humphreys, Ulster were back in the hunt.
As the pressure mounted, Williams pushed over scrum-half Paul Marshall at the base of an attacking Ulster ruck to earn his second yellow card.
Ulster exploited the extra space to attack out wide from a scrum and Trimble made the most of it when the chance came with two minutes remaining.
Humphreys converted to level and Scarlets' final attack came to nothing.

TEAMS

Scarlets: L Williams, H Robinson, R King, S Williams, M Tagicakibau, R Priestland, G Davies; P John, K Owens (capt), R Jones, J Ball, J Snyman, R McCusker, J Barclay, R Pitman
Replacements: E Phillips, R Evans, P Edwards, R Kelly, A Shingler, R Williams, S Shingler, G Owen.
Ulster: L Ludik, M Allen, J Payne, S Olding, C Gilroy, I Humphreys, P Marshall; C Black, R Herring, W Herbst, D Tuohy, F van der Merwe, R Diack, C Henry, R Wilson (capt).
Replacements: J Andrew, A Warwick, D Fitzpatrick, L Stevenson, N Williams, M Heaney, L Marshall, A Trimble.
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Ian Davies, Jon Mason (Wales)
Citing commissioner: Aurwel Morgan (Wales)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wales)
Regan King
Regan King made one New Zealand appearance
Harry Robinson scores for Scarlets
Harry Robinson made his Wales debut against Barbarians in June, 2012

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

England Women's Rugby World Cup winners want professionalism


England Women's Rugby World Cup winners want professionalism

England's World Cup winning women feel a move to professionalism is necessary to stay competitive on the world stage.
However, any move must be "viable" and "sustainable" in the long-term, said captain and fly-half Katy Mclean, 28.
Vice-captain Sarah Hunter added: "If other nations turn professional and move forward we might get left behind."
The Rugby Football Union is yet to comment on plans to make the women's game full-time or award central contracts to its national players.

Some of England's squad and their "day jobs"

Katy Mclean (captain) - primary school teacher
Marlie Packer - plumbing and heating engineer
Sarah Hunter (vice-captain) - RFU university rugby development officer
Margaret Alphonsi - athlete mentor manager for the Youth Sport Trust
Danielle Waterman - unemployed (studying masters degree part-time)
Kay Wilson - sports development student
Katherine Merchant - personal trainer
Sophie Hemming - veterinarian
England beat Canada 21-9 in the final in Paris on Sunday to secure their first World Cup win in 20 years and Hunter, 28, believes the demands in the game now make holding down a full-time job a difficult situation to balance.
"For now, it's all about making sure the players have the support in place to make their lives easier and add value," she added.
"But we need to make sure the debate doesn't take away from the achievement of actually winning a World Cup."
Full-time primary school teacher Mclean said that England had to win the World Cup "to have any credibility about arguing for professionalism", before pointing out that "half the Canada side we beat in the final are full-time sevens players".
Women's Sevens will make its Olympic debut in Rio in 2016. The Netherlands were the first to award professional contracts to their female Sevens players. Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, the United States, Russia and Spain have since followed suit.
"There's a huge marketing profile now for the game's authorities to work with," Mclean said.
"I'm sure the Rugby Football Union are already busy talking about it.
"The number of interviews we've done since the World Cup final where we've been asked questions about professionalism just adds fuel to the debate."
Former England captain Catherine Spencer hopes the Olympics sevens tournament at Rio will act as a springboard for the future of the women's game.
"Having sevens there for the first time will lead to more funding, but the 15-a-side game is the real 'bread and butter'," the two-time World Cup runner-up said.
"Ultimately, a move to professionalism will need support from around the world, rather than just one country.
"I think the next World Cup in 2017 might be too soon, but I'd like to think by the World Cup after that and the one that follows, the game will be ready."

Thursday, 14 August 2014

European Rugby Champions Cup: Harlequins host Castres in opener


European Rugby Champions Cup: Harlequins host Castres in opener

Harlequins will launch the new European Rugby Champions Cup when they host France's Castres on Friday 17 October.
It replaces the Heineken Cup and will have 20 teams - seven English, six French and seven from the Pro12 league.
Premiership champions Northampton face Racing Metro 92 on Saturday 18 October while Scotland's sole representatives Glasgow Warriors face Bath at home.
On Sunday 20 October Heineken Cup champions Toulon welcome Welsh region Scarlets to the south of France.

European Rugby Champions Cup round one fixtures

17 October
Pool 2
Harlequins
v
Castres Olympique
18 October
Pool 1
Sale Sharks
v
Munster
18 October
Pool 1
Saracens
v
Clermont Auvergne
18 October
Pool 4
Glasgow Warriors
v
Bath
18 October
Pool 5
Racing Métro 92
v
Northampton
18 October
Pool 3
Leicester
v
Ulster
19 October
Pool 5
Ospreys
v
Benetton Treviso
19 October
Pool 4
Toulouse
v
Montpellier
19 October
Pool 3
Toulon
v
Scarlets
19 October
Pool 2
Leinster
v
Wasps
Pro12 champions Leinster are at home to Wasps in the first round of pool matches while Saracens take on Clermont Auvergne, who they beat in last season's Heineken Cup semi-final.
The European Rugby Champions Cup was launched after a long-running dispute sparked by French and English clubs' dissatisfaction with the structure of, and financial rewards from, the Heineken Cup.
The second-tier European Rugby Challenge Cup, which replaces the Amlin Cup, kicks off on Thursday 16 October when Gloucester take on Brive at Kingsholm.
The quarter-finals of both tournaments will be played on the weekend of 3/4/5 April 2015 and the semi-finals on 17/18/19 April.
The Challenge Cup final will be played at Twickenham Stoop on Friday 1 May, while the Champions Cup decider is set for the following day at Twickenham.

Women's Rugby World Cup: England focused on final - Street


Women's Rugby World Cup: England focused on final - Street

England will not get carried away by their 40-7 victory over Ireland ahead of Sunday's Women's World Cup final against Canada, says coach Gary Street.
They reached their fifth final as Ireland failed to find the form that helped them beat holders New Zealand.
Canada, who beat hosts France 18-16 in the other semi-final, drew 13-13 with England in the group stage.
"We tensed up last time out against Canada. We felt the pressure," Street told BBC Radio 5 live.
"This is my second World Cup final as coach. We need to get better again."
In Wednesday's semi-final against Ireland, tries from prop Rochelle Clark and wing Kat Merchant helped England open up a 18-7 half-time lead.
Kay Wilson's effort and two more from Wasps flanker Marlie Packer gave the scoreline a convincing look, while Lichfield centre Emily Scarratt kicked three penalties and a conversion.

Previous World Cup finals

1991
United States
19-6
England
1994
England
38-23
United States
1998
New Zealand
44-12
United States
2002
New Zealand
19-9
England
2006
New Zealand
25-17
England
2010
New Zealand
13-10
England
"There is no big surprise. We knew we had a big performance in us," added Street.
"It's my wedding anniversary today so it's a good day all round."
England captain Katy McLean, a 28-year-old schoolteacher, told BBC Radio 5 live: "That game wasn't easy.
"Ireland have a fantastic defence but today it was about England being clinical.
"Today we had to turn up. The players absorbed it, dealt with it and performed. I'm so proud of those girls out there.
"We have an amazing feeling around the squad."
Emily Scarratt (centre)
England's Emily Scarratt scored 11 points in the match

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Challenge Cup: Widnes Vikings 6-28 Castleford Tigers

Challenge Cup: Widnes Vikings 6-28 Castleford Tigers

Widnes (0) 6
Tries: Owen Goals: Owens
Castleford (14) 28
Tries: Finn, Clark, Dixon, Ellis, Webster Goals: Sneyd 4
Castleford Tigers blew Widnes Vikings away in the Challenge Cup semi-final at Leigh to book their first visit to Wembley Stadium in 22 years.
The victory, which sets up an all-West Yorkshire final against Leeds Rhinos, came on the back of first-half Liam Finn, Daryl Clark and Kirk Dixon tries.
Daryl Powell's side built on their 14-0 interval lead when Jamie Ellis and Jake Webster crossed after the break.
Widnes avoided being held scoreless through Jack Owens' late try out wide.
Police and stewards were forced to intervene when spectators from the Widnes section entered the playing area after the final whistle and confronted Castleford supporters as they celebrated at the opposite end.






Castleford's Craig Huby was taken to hospital after he suffered a dislocated elbow during the game, but their success ensured two West Yorkshire sides will meet at Wembley for the first time since 1973's encounter between Bradford Northern and Featherstone.

It will also be the first all-Yorkshire final at the
national stadium since 1986 - the last time the Tigers won the trophy.
Widnes were left to concentrate on their play-off hopes after losing their first semi-final in 18 years.
The soggy conditions did not dampen the enthusiasm of the two sets of fans packed into a sold-out Leigh Sports Village, nor spoil the intensity of a tie played at breakneck speed.
Cas took the lead when Daryl Clark's break punched a hole in the Widnes line and the supporting Finn sprinted half the length of the field to score under the posts.
Tigers half-back Finn won the battle with opposite number Kevin Brown, as his kicking game caused Widnes numerous problems.


Luke Dorn (left) lost 70-0 with London at this stage last season but was man of the match for Cas in 2014
Clark spun his way through the tackle after a loop-around play to add a second try inside nine minutes, and the video referee spared Widnes further torment when a Dixon try was ruled out.
Despite the loss of Huby, Powell's side eventually added the third try when Dixon finished off with slick hands on the right.
Castleford picked up where they left off after half-time when Jamie Ellis' dummy-half scoot took him over.
Denis Betts' Widnes struggled to respond and when they did find themselves in a threatening position, Castleford's defence was equal to it.
Marc Sneyd's goal edged the Tigers further ahead before desperate defence held up Stefan Marsh to deny Widnes at the other end of the field.
Any lingering doubts regarding Cas' progress were dispelled by Jake Webster, who finished off a flowing move, and Owens' score for the Vikings was a mere consolation.

Sunday's line-ups

Widnes Vikings: Hanbury; Flynn, Dean, Marsh, Owens; Brown, Mellor; Gerrard, Clarke, Kavanagh, Galea, Tickle, Cahill.
Replacements: Allen, O'Carroll, White, Isa.
Castleford: Dorn; Dixon, Webster, Shenton, Clare; Sneyd, Finn; Lynch, Clark, Huby, Holmes, Mariano, Massey.
Replacements: Wheeldon, Ellis, Jewitt, Carvell.
Referee: Richard Silverwood (England)

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