Castleford 20-28 Huddersfield

If this was more than a friendly, perhaps Terry Matterson’s reaction post match would have been much different. The scoreline of 20-28 certainly flattered the Tigers, and it was only thanks to Huddersfield’s failure to convert their tries that the gap was eight points come the final hooter.nnBut as his players – outplayed for 70 minutes – trouped off the field to evaluate their first physical match as a full first-team, Matterson looked less disconsolate as he begins the post-mortem to his side’s performance.nnNewly appointed captain Ryan Hudson said in midweek not to judge the team by their performances in the friendlies as they were “trying out new moves.”nnAs much as they tried and prevailed, it did not work and a lack of guidance from injured Brent Sherwin as well as four other first team players, seemed a reasonable explanation for their poor kicking game and failure to convert possession into points, at least for the first forty minutes anyway.nnBut for counterpart Nathan Brown, it was a solid first display despite a final ten minutes in which the Giants let their foot off the gas after an impressive first 70 minutes.nnNew full-back Brett Hodgson was an handful grabbing a try while Michael Korkidas also put in a good first shift, as his determination to prove his doubters wrong showed.nnAnd it took only three minutes to see the first points on the board.nnCarried up the field on the back of penalties given away by the Tigers, the Giants took advantage with quick hands allowing Stephen Wild to dive over. And fifteen minutes later David Hodgson grabbed his first of a good bracennIt was certainly defensive rugby for much of the first half, but Huddersfield’s free-flowing rugby plus an erroneous Tigers performance, allowed Paul Whatuira to grab a third try just quarter of an hour later.nnOnce again close to the Tigers line, the defence moved across meaning Jordan Thompson had to shift to cover a wide open gap. This allowed space out on the wing for Whatuira to complete the easy task of finishing off the move.nnThe Tigers did get themselves on the scoreboard shortly after half-time. A good move involving Ryan McGoldrick and Rangi Chase ended with Michael Wainwright diving over in the corner, to give the Tigers hope of overturning what became an eight point deficit.nnBut hope turned to worry as missed tackles started to come into the Tigers game.nnThree tries from the Giants in five minutes gave Nathan Brown what was soon to be the perfect start to the new season.nnDavid Hodgson grabbed his second try six minutes later after scooping up a deftly chipped kick into the corner by Luke Robinson, before namesake, Brett Hodgson, added another nail in the Tigers’ coffin.nnThe talented Australian broke through some disappointing defence to crash over, with both tries being converted for the first time in the match.nnBut Castleford did not give up, and eventually got some reward for their effort even if it was somewhat flattering.nnHuddersfield took their foot off the gas and that allowed Richard Owen to take advantage in the corner showing great speed, before further tries from youngster Billy Harris – showing great support play – and Chris Feather tagged on a final try just as the final hooter went, but it was merely nothing more than a consolation.

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