Match report: Castleford 10 Huddersfield Giants 28
GIANTS STYLE IS IMPRESSIVE
POLISHED Huddersfield Giants have sent out an immediate warning to their Super League rivals that another top-three finish might not be beyond their grasp after cruising to a 28-10 triumph at Castleford Tigers last night.
For a first – and only – senior run-out before the start of the new campaign, head coach Nathan Brown’s men looked sharp, eager and powerful.
Admittedly it was far from being a complete performance, with the conceding of the two second-half tries taking some of the gloss off the
But on this evidence, the Giants shouldn’t be lacking in confidence when they face Bradford in their Super League XV opener a week on Friday, something which should have given Bulls boss Steve McNamara food for thought as he looked on from the stands.
New signings Lee Gilmour and Graeme Horne were handed starts in the second row, with fellow newcomers David Fa’alogo and Scott Grix on the bench.
But despite Brown saving several of his ‘big guns’ on the bench, it didn’t take too long for the Giants to take complete control.
With props Darrell Griffin and Andy Raleigh leading from the front, the visitors were immediately dominant.
However, it was from a defensive position from where the Giants drew first blood after six minutes.
With the Tigers on the attack, the impressive Luke Robinson pulled off a one-on-one ball steal on Steve Snitch on his own 20 and had the speed to outpace the defence to score a try, converted by Brett Hodgson.
And three minutes later, the men from the Galpharm had doubled their lead.
After forcing Castleford to drop-out from under their own posts, Kevin Brown – who was looking sharp in his first game since suffering a knee injury in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley in August – drove the ball to the line.
Then, quick as a flash, Shaun Lunt was in at dummy half to plunge over from close range.
David Hodgson was denied a try midway through the half when he was brought back for obstruction and five minutes later, Eorl Crabtree’s offload to send Robinson away was adjudged forward.
But they were not to be denied five minutes before the break when the ever-influential Robinson fed Gilmour to cruise through for his first try in Huddersfield colours, which Hodgson again goaled to make it 18-0 at half-time.
At the start of the second period the wounded Tigers came out strongly, forcing the Giants into some much-needed defensive practice, given the nature of the opening 40 minutes.
Michael Wainwright was denied in the corner by a good Leroy Cudjoe tackle within five minutes of the restart.