The struggling Huddersfield Giants were mauled by Super League leaders Castleford Tigers as the visitors continue to do it tough.
Coach Rick Stone’s understrength side more than held their own in the opening quarter and were good value for their 4-0 lead.
But as soon as the hosts struck midway through the half for the first time, there was only going to be one winner.
It is a fifth game without a win for the Giants and it is a stark reality, with Castleford showing their class with a dazzling display of attacking rugby league.
The opening quarter couldn’t have gone much better for the visitors.
They more than held their own against the League leaders and deservedly led 4-0 after the first 20 minutes with a well-taken seventh-minute short-range score from Ryan Hinchcliffe after a strong drive and offload from Sebastine Ikahihifo.
Ryan Brierley was unable to add the extras, but the start was certainly a promising one.
But all that began to change midway through the half.
Ben Roberts set the Castleford ball rolling, collecting a Luke Gale grubber to cross under the posts.
Gale converted and the Tigers were on their way to a 16-4 interval advantage.
Their second score came just two minutes after their first as Lee Gaskell’s restart went out on the full and from the subsequent set, Roberts set up Webster to cross.
And then in the 28th minute the lead was extended thanks to a strong finish through a tired-looking defence by Mike McMeeken, with Gale goaling to take the lead up to 12 points.
It took Castleford just a minute to extend their lead at the stat of the second half as former Giants full-back Greg Eden raced clear and fed Gale to finish off in the corner, too far out for him to convert.
And the lead was even greater three minutes later as Gadwin Stringer drove through to send Adam Miller bursting over under the posts for Gale to add the extras.
But the rot was stopped in the 50th minute when Brierley collected from deep inside his own territory from a scrum and sprinted 90 metres to the line and landed the conversion.
But the respite was shortlived as Jake Webster powered through five minutes later to set up Gale for his second, which he converted.
The concession of he Giants’ sixth penalty on the night paved the way for the Tigers to strike for the seventh time on the night as Joel Monaghan powered in at the corner.
At 36-10 with 20 minutes still to play, it was, unfortunately, a case of damage limitation - an assignment that didn’t start well as Paul McShane strolled through to feed Gale for his hat trick in the 61st minute.
He celebrated it with his fifth conversion on the night.
Mesmerising Rangi Chase play then set up Monaghan for his second in the 68th minute, and the Giants pain was continuing to increase, although a fourth Gale goal miss at least meant the 50-point mark had not been reached.
At least the Giants were refusing to wave the white flag, with Brierley’s grubber bouncing of a post for Gaskell to pounce and Brierley added the goal.
Huddersfield Giants Under 19s are in action at Lockwood Park tomorrow (2pm) when the Senior Academy face Widnes Vikings.
Giants from: Jon-Luke Kirby, Jamie Greenwood, Oliver Jamieson, Jack Richardson, Innes Senior, Louis Senior, Josh Pinder, Izaac Farrell, Alex Young, Harry Maders, Ross Whitmore, Connor Hampson, Alfie Copley, Ethan Salm, Matty English, Jack Flynn, Sam Hewitt, Billy Hayes, Lucas Hallas
Leeds Rhinos held on to record a 26-18 home win over Super League champions Wigan Warriors.
Leeds led 14-12 at half-time with tries from Ryan Hall and Joel Moon, plus three Ashton Golding goals, to keep them just ahead of Wigan who scored through two tries from George Williams and two goals from Morgan Escare.
In a tight second period Leeds created some breathing space with a Kallum Watkins try and another Golding goal.
Liam Marshall grabbed a try to pull the Warriors back into the contest and Escare added the goal, but a Gary Ablett secured the win for Leeds.
Meanwhile, England stand-off Williams says he is aware of interest from NRL clubs and is not ruling out a move to Australia.
The 22-year-old Wigan star has become one of the most sought-after players in Super League over the last 18 months, with Warrington thought to be keen on acquiring his services and a host of Australian clubs monitoring the situation.
Williams, who is under contract with the Super League champions until the end of 2018, says he has begun tentative talks about a new deal but is keeping his options open.
“I’m in talks with Wigan,” he said.
“Nothing’s finalised and not much has been done but I’ve met Kris Radlinski (rugby director) and Ian Lenagan (chairman) a couple times with my agent.
“It’s a work in progress. Nothing’s finalised, we’re in talks. I’m enjoying it here, it’s where I’m from and I’m in a great team.”