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Super League: Huddersfield Giants defeat Castleford Tigers 36-10 to book spot in play-offs | Rugby League News


Huddersfield scored five second-half tries and seven in total to claim a convincing victory and move within a point behind Wigan Warriors in second place; Louis Senior registered two tries for the hosts

Last Updated: 18/08/22 11:14pm


Highlights from the Super League match between Huddersfield Giants and Castleford Tigers

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Highlights from the Super League match between Huddersfield Giants and Castleford Tigers

Highlights from the Super League match between Huddersfield Giants and Castleford Tigers

Huddersfield clinched a place in the Betfred Super League play-offs for the first time since 2015 with a clinical 36-10 win over Castleford at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Winger Louis Senior, who took the place of twin brother Innes, seized his opportunity to score two tries – including an opportunist 70-metre effort – as the Giants cut loose against a patched-up Tigers with five second-half touchdowns.

Huddersfield’s victory not only secures a top-six finish but leaves them needing just one more win to ensure a home play-off tie, which looks a formality.

The third-placed Giants, who were boosted by the return of Ricky Leutele from a six-match injury absence, have been beaten at home just once so far in 2022 and two of their last three games are also at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Huddersfield Giants' Tui Lolohea (back to camera) celebrates scoring his sides fourth try of the game during their 36-10 victory

Huddersfield Giants’ Tui Lolohea (back to camera) celebrates scoring his sides fourth try of the game during their 36-10 victory

Castleford’s third defeat in their last four matches represents a major blow to their play-off hopes, especially with coach Lee Radford running out of troops.

Story of the game

There was little sign of the one-sided nature of the game when the visitors took a fourth-minute lead through former Giants full-back Greg Eden, who stepped inside Leutele for the game’s first try.

Richardson was unable to add the conversion and the Tigers spent most of the rest of the first half on the defence as full-back Tui Lolohea got the Giants into the ascendancy. The Tongan international was elusive with the ball in hand but it was his kicking that caused most of the problems for the Castleford defence.

Tui Lolohea impressed in a convincing victory for the Giants

Tui Lolohea impressed in a convincing victory for the Giants

Second rower Chris McQueen was inches away from touching down one of Lolohea’s grubber kicks before stand-off Oliver Russell had more joy after 18 minutes after the bounce had eluded Richardson on the Tigers line.

Russell’s conversion put his side in front and they extended the lead nine minutes later when Senior produced a spectacular, acrobatic finish to score his first try.

Castleford had their moments on attack but their last-tackle options left much to be desired, with the home side profiting from three seven-tackle restarts after last-tackle kicks went dead. Richardson had more accuracy with a 40-20 kick five minutes into the second half and it created the position for his side to briefly level the scores.

The half-back put former Huddersfield second rower Alex Mellor through a gap for the Tigers’ second try and added the conversion to make it 10-10, only for the home side to strike back with two tries in three minutes to seize control of the match. Eden fumbled the ball from Theo Fages’ high kick to gift winger Leroy Cudjoe with a try and then centre Toby King broke clean through the Cas defence to put Lolohea away.

Russell added both conversions to make it 22-10 and Leutele made the game safe after 63 minutes when he won the race to Russell’s inch-perfect grubber kick to score Huddersfield’s fifth try. McQueen then confirmed his status as the most prolific try scorer in Super League in 2022 by powering his way over for his 15th touchdown to wrap up the scoring.

Watson wants top-two finish

Victory not only guarantees Huddersfield a top-six spot and leaves them needing just one more win from their last three games to ensure a home play-off, but also takes them to within a point of Wigan Warriors in second.

Giants coach Ian Watson says his side are still aiming for a top-two finish, which would secure a home semi-final but also provide a much-needed week off at the end of a gruelling 27-match regular season.

Ian Watson is still hopeful of a top-two finish for Huddersfield

Ian Watson is still hopeful of a top-two finish for Huddersfield

“First up, you’re not playing St Helens away in the semi-finals, you’ve got a home tie and you get a week off,” Watson said. “With the congestion of fixtures, that’s a big, big plus. I think it’s probably more important this year than any other year because of the tight games coming up.

“You’ve always got to aim higher, aim as big as you can and miss small has got to be the mentality.”

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Castleford’s third defeat in their last four matches represents a major blow to their play-off hopes, especially with coach Lee Radford running out of available players.

“We were second best tonight, we were beaten by the better side in many facets of the game,” Radford said. “We had no middles unfortunately, so we knew physically we were not going to impose ourselves on Huddersfield.

“We’re patching up, we’re playing out of position, we’re scrapping, we’re having a crack and will continue to do that to the end of the season and fight as hard as we can to make that fifth or sixth spot.”





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