Joe Burgess knocks on England door once again with hat-trick in Salford’s win over Castleford


Salford Red Devils winger Joe Burgess again staked his claim for an England recall ahead of this year’s World Cup with a hat-trick in his side’s 30-14 win against Castleford Tigers.

Flying over twice in the first half as the Red Devils overturned an early deficit, the 27-year-old then crossed 11 minutes from time with his strong partnership alongside centre Tim Lafai firmly on show.

The ex-Wigan Warriors man hasn’t featured on the international stage for more than five years, and was left out of Shaun Wane’s England side in last year’s game against the Combined Nations All Stars.

With another strong showing against the Tigers at the AJ Bell Stadium, he has surely now got himself at the very least back into Wane’s thoughts.

Burgess Brilliance  

A former teammate of Burgess at Wigan, Ryan Hampshire crossed first to hand Castleford a third-minute lead. Lafai got the hosts back on level terms with Marc Sneyd excellent with the boot, and then came the Burgess double.

Taking advantage of a ‘six again’ call from referee Liam Moore, the Greater Manchester outfit surged forward with the winger taking the ball out on that far left touchline and stepping back inside to finish.

The step was made with such ease that many inside the stadium and watching on TV didn’t appreciate just how difficult it was to do so quickly.

Ten minutes later, in what was the last action of the first half, Burgess then got his second which pulled his side away from Cas on the scoreline.

This time around, Derrell Olpherts spilled the ball inside his own half and Salford again pushed back on down the left with the winger crossing.

With another Sneyd conversion to match, that had the Red Devils 16-6 up at the interval.

Biding His Time

Cas came out the blocks quicker and limited Burgess’ opportunities in the early stages at the restart.

His treble should’ve been complete 53 minutes in and would’ve been only for a remarkable last-ditch tackle by Hampshire.

Deon Cross finished off a superb breakaway not long after though following a two-pointer from Sneyd, and even when the video ref awarded a Tigers try 18 minutes from time, Salford never really looked in danger of folding.

Any faint chances faded away when Adam Milner got sin-binned and three minutes later, Burgess rounded off the scoring with his hat-trick. Lafai flicked the pass out in nice fashion disguised and there was the winger to dive over.

30-14 to Salford it ended, Burgess re-igniting calls for him to get back into the international fold, and the Red Devils are rising.

They sit ninth, outside of the top six, while Cas occupy the final play-off spot but could slip out of the all-important rankings if Hull KR get a result against Catalans Dragons.

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