Castleford 24 Huddersfield 40 match report: Jermaine McGillvary leads way as Huddersfield top table
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Sunday 07 April 2013
Huddersfield went back to the top of Super League, at least until Wigan's game against Wakefield today, with a commanding performance – for the first 75 minutes, at any rate – that brought them a first win at Castleford for four years.
The rock-bottom Tigers took an early lead, but that looked like the end of the fun for them against a Giants team that had far too much speed and skill.
Jermaine McGillvary led the way with two tries, taking him to nine for the season so far, while there was also a significant contribution from another player whose form makes him a candidate for promotion to the England squad: the former Castleford second-rower Brett Ferres.
Huddersfield's overall performance had a little of the shine taken off it when the game and gutsy Tigers ran in three late tries, but the job was done long before that.
Man of the match Ferres said that having the match won was "no excuse" for a slack last few minutes. That is one of the bad habits the Giants' coach, Paul Anderson, will want to drum out of them before the business end of the season.
Despite their lowly position, Cas have produced some good performances this season at home to the likes of Leeds, Wigan and the Catalan Dragons. The absence through injury and suspension of three regular members of their back-line, though, always made this look a tough assignment. Yet they made the best possible start with a try after three minutes. Aaron Murphy put the Giants under pressure with a high tackle on Michael Shenton, and Rangi Chase delayed his pass perfectly to send Oliver Holmes barrelling over.
That advantage was soon wiped out by a salvo of five Giants' tries within 15 destructive minutes. Stuart Fielden stole the ball from Cas for the first, finished from close range by Shaun Lunt for his eighth of the season.
The Tigers' determination to keep the ball alive on the last tackle of their next attacking set exploded in their face. Jonathan Walker lost possession and Joe Wardle picked up to go 80 metres and put Huddersfield ahead.
A lovely one-handed pass from Ferres released Murphy for the next and, to make matters considerably worse, Chase was so convinced the pass was forward that he argued his way into the sin-bin.
In his absence his team-mates quickly found themselves out-flanked, with Leroy Cudjoe sending McGillvary away. They were still a man short when Luke Robinson took a return pass from Cudjoe and, with the addition of Danny Brough's fourth goal, put the Giants in the most comfortable of positions at half-time.
It took 10 minutes of the second half to extend their lead, but when they did it was with their most spectacular try so far. Ferres, a forward with a flair for the unexpected, kicked from deep to the right, where McGillvary scorched past Richard Owen for his second. Two minutes later Brough hoisted an equally accurate kick to the other corner and Murphy fed Ferres.
The Giants lost Jamie Cording to the sin-bin for holding on in the tackle and that slowed them down, at least for 10 minutes.
Cas were unable to turn their one-man advantage into immediate points, but then scored three after the Giants were back up to strength. First Adam Milner went over from dummy-half and then their other hooker, Daryl Clark, from long range.
Cas achieved further respectability with a magical Chase pass to Walker two minutes from time, but it was all far too late.
Castleford Tansey; Owen, Shenton, Gilmour, Thompson; Chase, Ellis; Walker, Milner, Mason, Massey, Hauraki, Holmes. Substitutes used Clark, Huby, Fleming, Boyle.
Huddersfield Grix; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy; Brough, Robinson; Fielden, Lunt, Kopczak, Ferres, Lawrence, Ferguson. Substitutes used George, Faiumu, Patrick, Cording.
Referee P. Bentham (Warrington)
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