sport

Powell pleased to have options

Castleford provided more evidence of their ability to win matches without Rangi Chase with their first Super League win at Hull KR.

Winger Richard Owen scored a hat-trick of tries on his first appearance of the campaign as the Tigers triumphed 30-10 at Craven Park to go joint top of the table after three rounds.

The Tigers' impressive start to the season has been masterminded by half-backs Marc Sneyd and Liam Finn, who have stepped into the breach created by Chase's departure to Salford.

Sneyd kicked five goals from five attempts and orchestrated the play alongside Finn, who blotted his copybook by being sin-binned for foul play just before half-time.

Castleford coach Daryl Powell said: "The biggest question I've been asked was where our points were going to come from and I said probably from all over because we've a lot of good players.

"Liam Finn has been an outstanding player in the Championship for a fair while.

"He's a calm head, he knows where he wants to pick defences off and I think his execution has been excellent.

"His kicking game is pretty tidy and he's been tough defensively. Everyone has a pop at him but I thought he was great again tonight.

"I thought he was unlucky to be sin-binned. I didn't see an awful lot in that."

Owen applied the finishing touches to Castleford's superb kicking and offload game to justify his selection ahead of Kirk Dixon.

"Kirk Dixon has been playing really well but we've a squad in which some of the players are close to each other in terms of their ability and the form they showed in pre-season," Powell said.

"I thought Richard deserved an opportunity to play. He played well and I've got to pick a team next week. They're the difficult decisions you want.

"It was a great performance from everyone out there. I thought defensively we were superb. We got put under a lot of pressure.

"I don't think our game management was the best it could have been but we've got a group of people who are working so hard for each other defensively.

"I thought when we got in good field position we looked like we were going to score pretty much every time we got there. We just didn't get there that often."

Hull KR opened the scoring with prop forward James Green's 12th-minute try but they generally lacked the creativity to make full use of their lion's share of possession.

"Cas were way too good," admitted Rovers coach Craig Sandercock. "They are playing really good footie.

"We had a lot of opportunities but we keep letting teams off the hook. Our execution is nowhere near where it should be at this time of year."

Already without front row pair Michael Weyman and Justin Poore through suspension, the Robins lost Jamie Langley before kick-off and Jonny Walker with a knee injury after 17 minutes.

Langley, who was concussed at Huddersfield last Sunday, was cleared by Rovers' medical staff but prevented from playing by a directive from the Rugby Football League, who have clamped down on the issue this year.

"We thought we had a strong case because straight after the game at Huddersfield he had absolutely no symptons of concussion," Sandercock said.

"Hopefully it will be enforced for every other club. I'm really big on player welfare myself. There is no way I'd let one of my players play with the slightest doubt."