Huddersfield 64 Castleford 12: Giants crush poor Tigers

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The Independent Online

The Giants started 2007 with seven straight defeats yet finished up by reaching the play-off berths. So, by gaining their first victory in the only their third game of the season in such a convincing fashion, the more optimistic of Huddersfield fans might start dreaming of even greater achievements in 2008.

Huddersfield smashed into the Tigers from the off. The Giants took a seventh minute lead, when Keith Mason and John Skandalis combined to give Luke Robinson a simple score beneath the posts. Minutes later, Rod Jensen extended the lead with a touchdown.

Somewhat against the run of play, Castleford's Mike Wainwright crashed through a tackle by Robinson to score.

Kevin Brown, and then Steve Snitch notched easy scores and Jensen crossed for his second. The rout continued in the second half, with the Giants seemingly scoring for fun. First a magnificent kick return by Jensen produced a try for Chris Thorman. In the next 10 minutes, Jamahl Lolesi with two, and Paul Whatuira bagged three more tries.

In the final quarter, the Giants ran in a further three tries through Keith Mason, Robinson and Andy Raleigh.

After the game, Tigers' coach Terry Matterson offered no excuses. "Our performances ain't good enough at the moment."

On the other hand, Huddersfield's Jon Sharp was understandably delighted. "I'm really pleased with how we played. I thought we played some excellent stuff."

Huddersfield: Thorman; Elford, Whaturia, Lolesi, Jensen; Brown, Robinson; Mason, Hudson, Skandalis, Crabtree, Snitch, Wild. Replacements: Gatis, Raleigh, Jackson, Griffin.

Castleford: Dorn; Owen, Dixon, McGoldrick, Wainwright; Thackeray, Lupton; Leafa, Henderson, Huby, Guttenbeil, Haberecht, Westerman Replacements: Higgins, Korkidas, Boyle, Fletcher.

Referee: R Silverwood (Dewsbury).