Castleford build on their momentum as they get a comfortable win over Huddersfield Giants who head home with their third consecutive defeat. Here’s our verdict…
The hosts got the first half underway but the Giants made a great, albeit controversial, start to the evening as O’Brien charged through the defence to score the first try after two minutes. Castleford’s defence looked to have done just enough to deny him – but the try was given by the video referee.
However it was a perfect response from the Tigers as they went down the short side through Greg Eden who got past Mamo to slide over in the corner.
For the next few minutes the possession went either way, until the Giants extended their lead through Lee Gaskell after some great work from fellow teammate Danny Brough, who provided the perfect pass for Gaskell to break the line and run clean through.
The hosts reduced the deficit after an impressive run from Mike McMeeken, who held off two Giants defenders and got the offload away to Jake Webster who crossed untouched.
Huddersfield’s lead was short lived as Castleford scored their third try through Junior Moors. His first attempt was denied but moments later he powered over at pace for the try, with no doubt about this one as the Tigers led into the break,
The Giants got the second half underway but it was the Tigers that extended their lead just before the hour mark. Michael Shenton was the instigator as worked out an opening out wide, feeding the ball to James Clare who darted over the line despite pressure from two Giants players.
McMeeken scored Castleford’s second try in the space of ten minutes. They built the pressure on the Huddersfield defence and it payed off, as the forward forced his way over from close range.
With ten minutes to go Castleford put the game to bed with three tries in quick succession. The first came from Moors, after Paul McShane who was able to find the space to offload and put the big forward over.
The second came after a penalty scrum where the Tigers spread the ball wide to Peter Mata’utia, who scores his first try for the club.
The final try was scored by Grant Millington, who was fed a perfectly delivered grubber by Jake Trueman to round off a generous scoreline.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Classy Cas emerging at right time
The fixture was set to be a battle for West Yorkshire and it delivered, with the final score doing little justice to how close a game it was for the first hour.
However when the Tigers build up the pressure, they will get tries, and they look to building at the perfect time, back towards the sort of form that they reached last season.
And they managed to it without Luke Gale, who didn’t make the line-up with a potential fresh injury.
Huddersfield have lost their momentum
After eight straight wins under new coach Simon Woolford, they are now on a streak of three defeats since they lost to Wakefield Trinity at the John Smith’s Stadium.
They still looked good in this game, putting the hosts under pressure for 60 minutes, but it went away from them as more injuries piled up.
That has been a familiar pattern in recent weeks, in the defeat over Trinity and the previous win over the same opponents, when injuries have struck during the game and the defence has struggled to hold together.
Man of the Match – Jake Trueman (Castleford Tigers)
It’s been a good year for the young man, having been thrown into the deep end this season in replacing Luke Gale who has struggled with injuries for most of the year.
Trueman has delivered once again tonight with another sold performance at half-back, being one of the main instigators in Castleford’s attack, and even when Gale is fit, Trueman is now trusted with a key role in the team.
Castleford Tigers 44
Tries: Eden (5′), Webster (24′), Moors (34′, 71′), Clare (58′), McMeeken (67′), Mata’utia (75′), Millington (79′)
Goals: McShane (6/7)
Drop Goals: n/a
Huddersfield Giants 12
Tries: O’Brien (2′), Garkell (19′)
Goals: Brough (2/2)
Drop Goals: n/a
Castleford Tigers: Mata’utia, Clare, Webster, Shenton, Eden, B Roberts, Trueman, Watts, McShane, Millington, Moors, McMeeken, Massey.
Interchanges: Minikin, Milner, Sene-Lafao, Clark.
Huddersfield Giants: Rankin, Mamo, Turner, Wardle, Senior, Gaskell, Brough, Lawrence, O’Brien, Matagi, Ta’al, O Roberts, Hinchcliffe.
Interchanges: Leeming, Clough, Smith, English.
Referee: Ben Thaler