Castleford maintained their faultless start to the season with an 18-12 defeat of Huddersfield in a lacklustre encounter at the PROBIZ Coliseum.
The match was always unlikely to be a vintage affair with the muddy field and freezing temperatures forcing both sides to adopt a less expansive style of play.
After a uneventful opening quarter the Tigers opened the scoring through Nick Youngquest on 15 minutes. The former Crusaders winger collecting Rangi Chase‘s neat chip to the corner to claim his second try for the club.
The Giants first half performance was strewn with errors and Kirk Dixon extended Castleford’s lead with a penalty on 24 minutes although he was off target with another attempt five minutes later.
Huddersfield were much improved at the start of the second period and the lively Jermaine McGillvary got them off the mark in after 43 minutes. Giants halves Danny Brough and Kevin Brown combined well before McGillvary stepped inside the defence to score.
But a controversial Castleford try in the 57th minute swung momentum back in the home side’s favour.
Giants fullback Scott Grix was collared as he returned a Chase grubber and the ball squirmed free from the sea of bodies. Youngquest reacted quickest to ground the ball with the video referee giving the Tigers the benefit of the doubt despite strong suggestions of a strip.
Huddersfield tried to force their way back into the game but the conditions, coupled with some solid Tigers defence, kept their opportunities to a minimum.
The Tigers caught the visitors on the counter on 62 minutes as promising centre Joe Arundel scored following a kick to the corner by Danny Orr, whose partnership with Chase proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Any lingering hopes of a Giants comeback were extinguished with the sin binning of England international Shaun Lunt late on although McGillvary did claim a consolation try after the hooter following a clever kick by Brown.
Castleford: Mathers, Dixon, Arundel, Jones, Youngquest, Chase, Orr, Jackson, Milner, Huby, Holmes, Emmitt, Ferres. Subs: Aspinwall, Walker, Widders, Clark.
Tries: Youngquest 15, 57, Arundel 62.
Goals: Dixon 15, 24, 74.
Huddersfield: Grix, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Lawrence, Hodgson, Brown, Brough, Crabtree, Carlile, Mason, Gilmour, Fa’alogo, O’Donnell. Subs: Lunt, Griffin, Horne, Faiumu.
Tries: McGillvary 43, 80.
Goals: Brough 43, 80.
Referee: Steve Ganson.