Rugby League: Castleford show size of the task for Reilly

Huddersfield Giants 14 Castleford Tigers 36
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ANY ASSUMPTION that the arrival of Malcolm Reilly as Huddersfield coach would automatically graft a new mental toughness on to his team's personality has proved premature.

Although there were many good things in this performance and they looked a long way from being the worst team in Superleague, a horror sequence when they conceded three tries in five minutes in the first half ruined any hope they had of their first points.

Huddersfield led though an early Bobby Goulding penalty and only fell behind thanks to a dreadful mistake by one of their most experienced players, John Bentley, who lost Brad Davis' low kick to present Darren Rogers with a gift try.

But, after pinning Castleford back on their line, a mistake by David Boughton let the visitors off the hook. Michael Eagar took quick advantage, going straight through Jim Lenihan's tackle to begin the game's critical onslaught.

The highly promising Huddersfield full-back Paul Reilly - no relation - seemed to have stemmed the next attack with an excellent tackle on Adrian Vowles, but Cas simply moved the ball the other way for Francis Maloney to score.

Eagar then went over for his second before Huddersfield made a reply before the break when Lenihan got free of Ian Tonks' tackle.

Huddersfield had to play for 10 minutes at the start of the second half without Nick Fozzard, who had been sent to the sin-bin, but, with a penalty apiece to Danny Orr and Craig Weston, they held their own, and even grabbed a try when Nigel Wright showed a glimpse of his great skill, pursuing his own kick to touch down after Reilly had established the attacking position.

Tries from Maloney, Vowles and Rogers saw Castleford comfortably to their third league win and underlined the fact that there is much work to be done at the McAlpine Stadium.

Huddersfield Giants: Reilly; Bentley, Lenihan, Loughlin, Cheetham; Weston, Goulding; Fozzard, Russell, Berry, Boughton, Sturm, Tangata-Toa. Substitutes used: Wright, Arnold, Richards, Pickavance.

Castleford Tigers: Flowers; Jay, Maloney, Eagar, Rogers; Orr, Davis; Sykes, Raper, Sampson, Harland, Fritz, Vowles. Substitutes used: Wells, Tallec, Pickering, Tonks.

Referee: N Oddy (Halifax).

n Shaun Edwards, the London Broncos captain, has been told he could face permanent damage if he defies medical advice and plays with a broken thumb in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley on 1 May.