Super League round-up: Shaun Lunt makes storming return to keep Giants in the hunt
Sunday 03 August 2014
The former England hooker Shaun Lunt demonstrated his value to Huddersfield with an impressive return from a calf injury that spurred them to a 36-18 Super League win at Wakefield.
Lunt, who was in the 2013 Super League Dream Team after playing a key role in the Giants' table-topping season, made an instant impact in his first match for two months, scoring a try and setting up two others to put his side in charge at 32-0 by half-time.
"He's a good player and we miss him when he's not there," said Huddersfield's coach, Paul Anderson. "It's the first time for a long time that we've had our first-choice one, seven, six and nine."
The Giants looked a well-oiled machine from the kick-off, which Wakefield's Jarrod Sammut put straight into touch, and tries from Joe Wardle, Eorl Crabtree, Lunt, Craig Kopczak, Kruise Leeming and Jermaine McGillvary put the game beyond their hosts by the break.
"I thought for 40 minutes we were damned near perfect," Anderson added. "But I've just told the players if we want to be serious Championship contenders, we have got to put together 80 minutes like the first 40."
While Huddersfield's win keeps them in touch with St Helens and Leeds, who both suffered surprise defeats on Friday night, while Wakefield's first home defeat under coach James Webster seriously damages their play-off hopes as they trail eighth-placed Widnes by four points with four games to play.
Widnes beat Hull KR to tighten their grip on the final play-off place in a physical encounter at the Select Security Stadium. Two tries in as many minutes at the beginning of the second half gave the Vikings the confidence to see out the game. First Joe Mellor flew over and then Kevin Brown finished off a fine inter-passing move.
The hosts did not have it all their own way, though, as Hull KR threw everything at them, but the visitors did not have the power to deal with the vibrant Vikings, who head into next week's Tetley's Challenge Cup semi-final against Castleford in great shape thanks to a 28-10 victory.
Justin Carney scored a first-half hat-trick as Castleford moved to within two points of the summit with an emphatic 64-18 victory over already relegated London Broncos.
Carney, who watched last week's draw at Hull from the sidelines, made up for lost time against a Broncos outfit seemingly destined to end the season without a win to their name. The Australian crossed three times during a nine-minute purple patch to break London's spirit after they had got off to a promising start.
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