Castleford Tigers put themselves within a single point of Wigan in second spot, with a convincing win over Huddersfield Giants on Thursday evening.
The teams flew out of the blocks in the opening 10 minutes of the game, delivering end to end action.
An early dummy half run by Adam O’brien earned Huddersfield a quick lead – much to the disgust of home supporters who believed video evidence showed the ball hadn’t touched the ground. The conversion was successful by Danny Brough.
Almost immediately the hosts replied with a classy blind side attack that saw Eden cross over. The conversion proved too difficult for McShane who missed from touch.
Castleford continued to apply pressure on Huddersfield by gaining brilliant ground but found themselves knocking on when approaching the visitors line.
Huddersfield played their part in the arm wrestle as both sides began to complete their sets.
Castleford again worked hard to reach the Giants try line but failed to cross – Webster being held up and heroic team defence forcing a turnover.
A penalty then gave Huddersfield monumentally important metres and on the proceeding set crossed over with Lee Gaskell.
Danny Brough fed the Englishman through on a short ball – again, many home fans protesting that obstruction caused the gap Gaskell ran through.
Brough converted the try to make the scoreline 12-4 in favour of the Giants.
Castleford continued to hammer the Giants try line and more brave defence kept the Tigers out. Two consecutive goal line drop outs being a testament to that.
Eventually a silky offload by Mike McMeekan put Webster over for a brilliant try. McShane converting.
More pressure on the Huddersfield line eventually resulted in Junior Moors crashing over, putting the Hosts in the lead. McShane converted to make the score 16 – 12.
Half-time: Castleford 16 – 12 Huddersfield
The second half started in lacklustre fashion – with both sides putting the ball to ground with silly errors.
Youngster Jake Trueman did fantastically well in the halves for Castleford, putting speculative kicks through again and again making Huddersfield work hard to keep them out.
Yet, it was adamant both sides weren’t firing on all cylinders, with mistakes slowing play down.
Jordan Turner then suffered a nasty looking injury to his knee just shy of the hour mark, and was replaced by Wardle.
It was from this moment that the Giants began to look outclassed, as Castleford continued to apply pressure – and no more than 5 minutes after Turner leaving the field the Tigers crossed with James Clare. The try converted by McShane.
The next half an hour saw Castleford continue dominance with classy kicking from Trueman and Roberts keeping the Giants on the back-foot.
Not to mention the excellent work put in by the forwards, Moors, McMeekan and Millington standing out as top workers.
The Giants looked tired and proceeded to concede four un-answered trys.
The first by a McMeekan drive, the second Moors on a left side spread, the third by Mata’utia again on the left and then the fourth by Millington who found himself on the end of a Trueman Kick.
All trys converted apart from the last – which was missed by the departing Webster, which brought laughs from the Tigers coaching set-up!
Full-Time: Castleford 44 – 12 Huddersfield
Star man: Jake Trueman – the youngster put in a mature performance and controlled the game from the get go.
Gamebreaker: The game was in the balance up until Jordan Turner left the field with medial ligament injury. Once off the field the hosts took full control and ran away with the game.