Castleford 36 Widnes 12: Tigers roar but this league is lacking bite…
01:00 GMT, 8 May 2012
If the theory that Super League has overstretched itself with a 14-team format needed any further proof, this was surely it.
Rugby league faces some big questions, with the recent departure of RFL chairman Richard Lewis to tennis’s All England Club adding momentum to the calls for change.
Certainly matches like this cannot be described as anything near super, with fears growing every week that there is just not enough talent to support the competition.
The top eight show huge strength, but below that there is a gaping chasm in quality and resources.
On target: Castleford returned to winning ways
However, Castleford Tigers will not be concerned with such worries; they will simply celebrate a first win in four after defeats by St Helens, Warrington and part-time Featherstone.
Even missing Rangi Chase, their most potent attacking force, they still managed to run in seven tries against hapless Widnes, about whom questions must be asked.
Since their elevation back into the elite, they have conceded at least 30 points in each of their 14 competitive fixtures.
Widnes boss Denis Betts admitted: ‘We knew this year would be tough, but we’re allowing too many points against us.
‘We have little patches of competing and working hard together, then we fracture and break easily.’
Castleford barely needed to get out of first gear to lead 10-8 at half-time, with Brett Ferres and Daryl Clark touching down either side of Paddy Flynn’s effort for the visitors.
Jordan Thompson’s 53rd-minute solo score pulled Castleford out of reach and prompted the Vikings’ latest collapse, with Nick Youngquest claiming a 15-minute hat-trick and Clark grabbing his second.
Castleford boss Ian Millward said: ‘Nick was clinical in how he got across the line. It was good to see.’ Little else was.