A tough game played out on Thursday night, with Alex Mellor scoring all Huddersfield’s tries and leading them to a 20-18 victory. Here’s what happened.
Alex Mellor’s stole the show as his hat-trick helped Huddersfield Giants hold on to beat Castleford Tigers 20-18 in a at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The Giants had to come from behind, too, as Castleford took an early lead when Greg Eden ran in relatively unchallenged from the halfway line following a classic interception.
In an enthralling first half, both sides saw their chances of extending the scoreboard waved away by the video referee as the half time hooter approached.
Mike McMeeken looked to have touched down for Castleford, but he dropped the ball mere inches from crossing over the line.
Moments later, Jermaine McGillvary dived over at the corner but the England winger was also denied the four points.
The Giants, Hoever, didn’t give up and got their rewards as Mellor scored either side of the break and, although, Matt Cooks surged over to re-establish Cas’ lead, you always felt that Huddersfield were going to win.
In a thrilling end to the match, Huddersfield’s Darnell McIntosh missed the extras following Mellor’s hattrick try but the hosts held on as Cas finished with 12 men after Adam Milner was sent to the bin for indiscipline.
The result sees Huddersfield pull four points clear of bottom side Leeds Rhinos while Castleford missed the chance to put the pressure on leaders Warrington and second-placed St Helens and therefore stay four points off the top.
Huddersfield were impressive
Only a handful of Giants fans would have predicted the outcome of Thursday’s game and even fewer would have predicted Mellor’s hattrick. That being said, each and every Huddersfield player played the best they have all season.
Cas didn’t really show up
After taking the lead so early on, Castleford will be bitterly disappointed to walk away from the John Smith’s stadium with nothing. Greg Eden was their only continuous threat and, for a team lying 3rd in the table, that is not good enough.
Mellor key for the Giants
It is no secret that Huddersfield’s results suffer when they pick up injuries, but Mellor has stepped up to fill a void on numerous occasions this season – and he will probably need to again.
Cas won’t challenge at the top
No one can ignore the quality within the Castleford ranks, but they have failed to perform too often so far in 2019. With Saints and Warrington winning these types of games at ease, I don’t see the Tigers troubling them come the business end of the season.
Tries: Mellor 3
Goals: McIntosh 4
Drop Goals: n/a
Tries: Eden, Cook
Goals: Mata’utia 5
Drop Goals: n/a
Huddersfield: McIntosh, McGillvary, Turner, Uate, Gaskell, Frawley, Leeming, Matagi, Murphy, Mellor, Ta’ai, Jake Wardle, Joe Wardle.
Interchanges: O’Brien, Roberts, Ikahihifo, Hewitt.
Castleford: Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Watts, Millington, McMeeken, Milner, Sene-Lefao, Moors, Turner.
Interchanges: Cook, Clark, O’Neill, Smith.