Huddersfield ran out victorious in a hard fought contest which secured them a place in the top eight after a convincing 32-18 away victory at Castleford.
The Tigers started in dominant fashion with two tries coming inside the opening 10 minutes, firstly through half back Jamie Ellis. Ellis found a hole in the Huddersfield defense before grounding the ball, the try stood after video referee Phil Bentham agreed with the on field decision. Jake Trueman also crossed leaving the Tigers in a commanding 12-0 with under 10 minutes played.
However, the Giants struck back first through England International winger Jermaine McGillvary who scored the first of what turned out to be a hat trick. Hudderfield spread the ball from centre field to the right hand-side before McGillvary slid over in the corner, with Danny Brough converting the goal.
The contest was evenly poised at half time after Huddersfield struck back with two more tries including a second from McGillvary crossing in acrobatic fashion in the corner and Lee Gaskell’s try in the final minute of the first half, which came either side of a powerful drive by Junior Moors who barged his way over the line, leaving the score was left at 18-apiece.
Huddersfield started the second half in dominant fashion with two tries within the first seven minutes. First McGilvary rounded off his hat trick before one of Huddersfield’s most exciting young players, Darnell McIntosh, who finished off a move was he ran infield to touch down. The game was still in the balance after Brough missed both conversions leaving Huddersfield with the advantage.
Castleford continually knocked on the door with two disallowed tries, including great goal line defence from Ryan Hinchcliffe who stopped last year’s top scorer Greg Eden. Huddersfield also had a try disallowed after Gaskell was unable to ground the ball. Only a Brough penalty was to add to the final score for the visitors before the final whistle blew.
All in all, it seems like a missed opportunity for Castleford who could have taken second spot, but Huddersfield secure their top 8 position and continue their impressive progress under Simon Woolford.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
McGillvary showing his international class
After a strong World Cup, Jermaine McGillvary has continued to push on throughout the 2018 season. In a week which has seen his international team mate Ryan Hall signing for NRL club Sydney Roosters, it begs the question would he be able to make the switch if the move was available.
However, that will be irrelevant to Simon Woolford who’s side can only build to become a stronger side next season, as Huddersfield are eight points away from the play-off places this year and seemingly only have pride to play for between now and the end of the campaign, unless there is a dramatic shift in other results in the battle for the play-offs.
Woolford’s magic secures safety
An unlikely task when he took over,but Simon Woolford has done an unbelievable job as he has taken his side from a desperate position into possibly sixth depending on this weekend’s result. There seems to be an optimism around the club now, but can he regain them to their former glory and challenge for silverware once more?
Lee Gaskell (Huddersfield Giants)
Gaskell had a huge impact of the game with a try going along with many important aspects on the match. Gaskell looked threatening running at the Castleford defence which opened up gaps which they exploited. He was unlikely not to win the Sky man of the match.
Another notable mention of course is McGillvary as he rounded off his three tries which all came at crucial points in the contest. He will be hoping for many more nights like them.
Castleford Tigers 18
Tries: Ellis, Trueman, Moors
Goals: Ellis 3
Drop Goals: n/a
Huddersfield Giants 32
Tries: McGillvary 3, Gaskell, Cudjoe, McIntosh
Goals: Brough 4
Castleford Tigers: Laulu-Togagae, Clare, Webster, Shenton, Eden, Ellis, Trueman, Watts, McShane, Sene-Lefao, Holmes, Millington, Milner.
Interchanges: Moors, Massey, Cook, Clark
Huddersfield Giants: Rankin, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Turner, McIntosh, Gaskell, Brough, Clough, O’Brien, Lawrence, Mellor, Murphy, Ta’ai
Interchanges: Hinchcliffe, Ferguson, Smith, Roberts
Referee: Chris Kendall