Castleford put an end to a run of five defeats by Huddersfield – including a Challenge Cup quarter-final here three weeks ago – to help their coach, Terry Matterson, celebrate a new two-year contract.
Cas showed the composure Matterson has been calling for by riding out the Giants’ late pressure and making the game safe two minutes from time through Rangi Chase’s drop goal.
It might have been a long time since their last win over the Giants, but there was no hint of an inferiority complex about Cas’ early approach; the game was only five minutes old when two of their brightest young prospects combined for its first try.
Joe Westerman was confined to water-carrying duties with England in France, but he showed all his quality in running onto Richard Owen’s flat pass. He could probably have scored himself, but unselfishly served up the ball for Kirk Dixon, who could not add the goal.
The Tigers’ second try was a gift, courtesy of the Huddersfield captain, Brett Hodgson. Ryan McGoldrick intercepted his loose pass in midfield and had a stroll to the sticks, leaving Dixon a simple conversion.
The off-colour Giants squandered their best chance to hit back when Luke Robinson made a clean break, but could not decide which of the supporting players to pass to, eventually directing an uncatchable ball to Jamahl Lolesi.
Cas also wasted a chance when Michael Wainwright knocked on near the line, but at least they kept the pressure on and were rewarded with Dixon’s goal when Danny Sculthorpe, making his home debut, was penalised for holding down.
Huddersfield spent much of the second half attacking, but their best chances of getting back into the game seemed to have come and gone when Kevin Brown was brought back for a forward pass, when David Hodgson stepped into touch and when Owen made a try-saving tackle on Paul Whatuira. The Tigers’ defence held firm until 15 minutes from time, when fine handling from Robinson, Simon Finnigan and Stephen Wild finally outflanked them, for Leroy Cudjoe to score and Brett Hodgson to add the goal.
The pressure was on, but Cas were giving nothing else away and Chase, who had kicked well all night, coolly settled it with a one-pointer.
Huddersfield: B Hodgson; Cudjoe, Lolesi, Whatuira, D Hodgson; Brown, Robinson; Mason, Moore, Griffin, Wild,
Crabtree, Finnigan. Substitutes used: Raleigh, Sculthorpe, Fulton, Faiumu.
Castleford: Owen; Wainwright, Shenton, Widders, Dixon; Faumuina, McGoldrick; Sargent, Chase, Huby, Ferres, Jones, Westerman. Substitutes used: Higgins, Boyle, Clayton, Netherton.
Referee: S Ganson (St Helens)Reuse content