Castleford Tigers held off a second half comeback from Hull KR to win 30-20 at Craven Park to mark Adam Milner’s testimonial.
It took the Tigers eight minutes to break the deadlock, after a close start. Jake Trueman showed fine individual skill to get over. Gareth O’Brien scored the conversion to make it a six-point lead.
Trueman made it a double just past the halfway point of the first half, as once again he showed good footwork to get his way to the line. O’Brien scored the conversion to double Castleford’s advantage.
On the half-hour, Niall Evalds managed to go over for his first try since moving to Castleford from Salford Red Devils. O’Brien scored the conversion to increase their advantage to 18 points, and see them through to the break.
Hull KR had to strike early in the second half, and they did as Jez Litten found a way over from dummy half. Jordan Abdull scored the conversion to bring the Robins back within 12 points.
However, just two minutes later, Castleford had their 18-point lead back as Michael Shenton spotted a gap and went over. O’Brien scored the conversion.
Just before the hour mark, Rovers got another one back as Shaun Kenny-Dowall pounced on a kick from Adam Quinlan to score. Abdull missed the conversion to leave the deficit at 14 points.
Two minutes later, and it was another for the Robins as they threatened to come back. Ryan Hall managed to get an offload away before being bundled into touch, and Quinlan touched down. Abdull was again off target with the conversion.
Castleford were feeling the pressure, and were down to 12 men, when Trueman was sent to the sin bin after being caught offside while going in for a tackle.
The hosts made the most of that advantage, as George Lawler bundled his way over to score. Abdull was back on target, as the Robins were back to within four points.
But the Tigers made the game safe with 10 minutes to go, as Shenton did well to cut back inside and score his second of the afternoon. O’Brien kept his perfect record with the boot.
For Hull KR, they just left themselves with too much to do after a slow start. They now have a week off before their Super League campaign gets underway against Catalans Dragons.
As for Castleford, they open their campaign up with a game against Warrington Wolves, to round off the first round of Super League action.
Hull KR: Adam Quinlan, Ben Crooks, Greg Minikin, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Ryan Hall, Brad Takairangi, Jordan Abdull, George Lawler, Matt Parcell, Korbin Sims, Kane Linnett, Dean Hadley, Elliot Minchella.
Subs: Albert Vete, Jez Litten, George King, Matty Storton, Mikey Lewis, Ethan Ryan, Joe Keyes, Will Maher, Luis Johnson, Jimmy Keinhorst.
Head Coach: Tony Smith.
Castleford Tigers: Niall Evalds, Derrell Olpherts, Peter Mata’utia, Michael Shenton, Jordan Turner, Jake Trueman, Gareth O’Brien, Grant Millington, Paul McShane, Nathan Massey, Oliver Holmes, Alex Foster, Adam Milner.
Subs: Daniel Smith, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Cheyse Blair, Tyla Hepi, Jacques O’Neill, Lewis Bienik, Lewis Peachey, Cain Robb, Brad Graham.
Head Coach: Daryl Powell.