Giants Defeat for Tigers
Posted: Thursday 11th April 2019 - 9:42 PM
Castleford Tigers suffered a disappointing 20-18 defeat on Thursday evening, falling to a resilient Huddersfield Giants side at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Tries from Greg Eden and Matt Cook weren’t enough for the black and amber, as an Alex Mellor hat-trick led the Giants to victory.
After all the problems the Tigers have had with slow starts in recent weeks, Castleford seemed to have flipped the script in this one, taking the lead after just three minutes as Greg Eden intercepted a Kruise Leeming pass and raced away untouched.
However, familiar service resumed in the following ten minutes, culminating in the Giants bringing themselves on terms via Alex Mellor.
It was almost double trouble for the Tigers a few moments later, as Lee Gaskell crashed over. The officials were having none of it though, pulling the try back for an obstruction in the build-up.
After an even spell, the next points on the board came off Mata’utia’s boot, as the Tigers opted for the sticks when earning a penalty deep in Huddersfield’s half.
Daryl Powell’s decision to not roll on was testament to how close the game was at that stage.
With around fifteen minutes to play, it appeared that Jake Trueman had stretched his way over the line to score. However, Ben Thaler bizarrely opted to not ask a second opinion, and instantly waved off the try appeals, to the fury of the away end.
The two sides went at each other for the remainder of the first half, and both went close. Mike McMeeken for the Tigers, on his reappearance, reached his long frame towards the whitewash and very nearly got the ball down. Then, as time expired, Jermaine McGillvary looked to have touched down in the corner, but the video referee turned the England international’s effort down.
Therefore, just two points separated the sides at the break.
When the 26 men re-emerged, it was those wearing claret and gold that seemed the most energised in the early going. After just two minutes of the second period, Mellor was over for his second of the evening.
Thankfully, it didn’t take long for the Tigers to respond. The black and amber soon gained some momentum, costing Huddersfield three straight penalties and a team warning.
Seconds later, try-machine Matt Cook powered over for his second try in as many weeks, restoring the Tigers’ lead.
It was anything but plain sailing for Castleford from then on though. The Giants continuously threatened the Tigers’ line, though they rather curiously went for the sticks on a frequent basis when they earned penalties in Castleford’s half.
Two efforts from Darnell McIntosh put the Giants into the lead, but there was a feeling that the hosts could have acted more ruthlessly with the Tigers on the back foot.
Regardless, Huddersfield took the points, and it soon became apparent that there was something in the Kirklees water, as the Tigers then nailed two penalties of their own – restoring a slender two-point advantage.
As the minutes began to tick down at a rapid pace, there was precious little in the contest, giving the hosts every confidence they could snatch the two points. With just over ten minutes remaining, they acted on it, as Mellor slid over for his hat-trick.
For the third game on the spin, the Tigers had been dragged into a dramatic finish.
Two points down, with only a few minutes still on the clock, the Tigers started camping on Huddersfield’s line, forcing a number of repeat sets. Adam Milner went close, but gave away a penalty right on the whitewash after being held up by Adam O’Brien, leading to him heading to the sin bin.
This proved to be the Tigers’ last chance, securing the result for Huddersfield.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 18-20 Huddersfield Giants
Turner, Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Mata’utia, Watts, Milner, Millington, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Moors
Cook, Clark, O’Neill, Smith
Tries: Eden, Cook
Conversion: Mata’utia (2/2)
Penalty: Mata’utia (3)
McIntosh, McGillvary, Turner, Jake Wardle, Uate, Gaskell, Frawley, Ta’ai, Leeming, Matagi, Joe Wardle, Mellor, Murphy
O’Brien, Roberts, Ikahihifo, Hewitt
Tries: Mellor (3)
Conversions: McIntosh (2/3)
Penalty: McIntosh (2)
*Match report by Ross Williams
**Photography by Melanie Allatt
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