DAVID HODGSON celebrated his 50th Giants appearance and lit up the dourest of Super League encounters by scoring a hat trick of tries to get his side back on the right Super League track.
Huddersfield’s victory over the injury-ravaged Castleford Tigers may not have been the greatest ever witnessed at the Galpharm.
But after the horror show at Salford on Easter Monday, coach Nathan Brown would have been happier with the win than the performance – although he will still be expecting far more on that front as well in the weeks and months that still lie ahead in Super League XV.
Despite the return of ‘big guns’ Brett Hodgson, Eorl Crabtree, David Fa’alogo, Lee Gilmour and Keith Mason, the Giants struggled to get into their stride.
In a far-from-convincing opening which set the tone for the rest of the first half, both sides started loosely, spilling the ball in promising positions.
As a result, it took 13 minutes before any quality rugby was produced to pave the way for the only try of the dullest of opening 40 minutes.
Danny Brough set the wheels in motion, launching a great kick into the in-goal area to force the first of three first-half goalline drop-outs by the visitors.
And from the subsequent set, the position was created for Kevin Brown to show great strength to keep the ball alive in the tackle and feed Gilmour.
The former Great Britain back-rower then found Paul Whatuira who slipped the pass to David Hodgson to finish in the corner and celebrate his 50th Giants appearance in the best possible fashion.
Brett Hodgson landed the touchline goal, and many thought this may signal the end of the Tigers’ resistance.
Unfortunately for their hosts, that couldn’t have been further from the truth.
With both teams continuing to spill the ball with monotonous regularity, chances remained few and far between.
It’s fair to say, the half-time hooter couldn’t come soon enough!
At the start of the second period, the Giants began to increase the tempo and within five minutes they had doubled their lead.
This time it was David Faiumu’s ability to keep the ball alive in the tackle that made it possible.
His work caused the Tigers’ defence to open up and eventually created the opening for Brett Hodgson’s long pass to find namesake David to squeeze in at the corner for a carbon copy of his opener.
Once again the Huddersfield captain banged over the touchline conversion.
But again, brave Castleford responded magnificently and, on the back of some highly dubious Steve Ganson refereeing decisions, Michael Cooper was denied a try only by the video referee who gave the knock-on.
That, however, seemed to be the spark the home side needed to ensure they finished with a flourish.
In the 66th minute former Great Britain winger Hodgson completed his hat trick when he raced on to Whatuira’s short pass and sprinted 40m to the line.
Brett Hodgson made no mistake with touchline goal No3 and then showed his quality with the boot by slotting over a goal from the opposite side after his side’s fourth score.
On this occasion it was Brough and Luke Robinson who did the damage, cutting the Tigers open to give Jamahl Lolesi the space to score his first try of the season.Related content