Castleford Tigers claimed their third straight Super League win, after a convincing victory over Huddersfield Giants at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The Tigers exploded into life with early tries from Derrell Olpherts and Jake Trueman. Olpherts then got a second before the break, and Jake Mamo added a second half try.
Huddersfield responded through Jermaine McGillvary, Chris McQueen and Will Pryce, but their six-game winning run in the Super League has come to an end.
Castleford made three changes to the side that beat Catalans in Golden Point on Sunday. Ryan Hampshire, Cheyse Blair and Liam Watts all come out of the side. Hampshire has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury, while Liam Watts serves a one-match suspension. Greg Eden returned at full-back, while Jake Mamo and Daniel Smith also returned to the side.
Meanwhile, Huddersfield made two changes to the side that beat Hull KR on the same day. Ricky Leutele and Matty English came out of the side, while Toby King made his debut after signing on loan from Warrington. Sebastine Ikahihifo also came in off the bench. Leutele suffered a knee injury, and it was revealed he would be out for eight to 10 weeks.
It was Castleford who drew first blood after eight minutes against the run of play. After Tui Lolohea’s pass went to ground, Jake Trueman was able to break through, and put Derrell Olpherts over the try-line. Danny Richardson then added the conversion to give the Tigers a six-point lead.
Just six minutes later, the Tigers doubled their lead. Trueman managed to break from inside his own half, and had the legs to be able to score the try himself. Richardson scored the conversion.
Castleford extended that lead before the 20-minute mark. Richardson added a penalty after Huddersfield were caught offside close to their own line.
The hosts went further ahead on the half-hour. Trueman threw a pass out wide that was almost intercepted by Jermaine McGillvary, but it was picked up by Olpherts, who was able to stretch out and score. Richardson converted to get the Tigers up to 20 points.
Huddersfield had to hit back before the break, and they did just three minutes later. Jermaine McGillvary took in a kick from Tui Lolohea, and managed to get it down right in the corner. Will Pryce managed to convert to reduce the gap to 14 points.
HT- Castleford 20-6 Huddersfield
The first try of the second half was crucial, and it was Castleford who got it. Kenny Edwards was able to shrug off a tackle, and got the ball to Jake Mamo, who went over to score. Richardson couldn’t add the extras this time.
However. that would not matter as Richardson would kick his second penalty of the night on 55 minutes. Leroy Cudjoe was punished for pushing Kenny Edwards away from the play-the-ball, and then Danny Levi also threw the ball furiously to the floor, leading to a second penalty for dissent.
The Tigers ended up finishing the match a man light. Paul McShane was given a yellow card for a tip tackle on Owen Trout inside the last 10 minutes.
Whilst they were a man up, Huddersfield were able to grab a consolation. Will Pryce gave a short ball to Chris McQueen, who went through the gap to score. Pryce then added the conversion.
The Giants added a second consolation in the final few seconds. Luke Yates managed to get through the middle, and get the ball to the supporting Pryce to score. Pryce also added the conversion.
Edwards was then sent to the sin bin for the final five seconds of the game for holding down McQueen. Castleford ended the match with 11 men.
FT- Castleford 26-18 Huddersfield
Both teams return to action at Magic Weekend next week. Castleford take on Leeds in Saturday’s final match, while Huddersfield take on Salford in Sunday’s opening fixture at St James’ Park.
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Castleford: Eden, Faraimo, Fonua, Mamo, Olpherts, Trueman, Richardson, Griffin, Milner, Massey, Edwards, Mellor, Westerman. Subs: McShane, Lawler, Smith, Matagi.
Tries: Olpherts (2), Trueman, Mamo
Goals: Richardson 5/6
Huddersfield: Lolohea, McGillvary, Cudjoe, King, Senior, Pryce, Russell, Wilson, Levi, Trout, Jones, McQueen, Yates. Subs: Golding, Lawrence, Greenwood, Ikahihifo.
Tries: McGillvary, McQueen, Pryce
Goals: Pryce 3/3