TOM JOWETT crossed for a hat trick of tries as the Huddersfield Giants secured a comfortable 30-10 Valvoline Academy triumph over Castleford Tigers in their re-arranged Under 18s clash at Huddersfield YMCA.
Jack Miller’s boot was another star of the show, as the halfback converted all five four pointers, three of which came from the touchline.
The home side also did it the hard way after star full-back Elliot Gorman’s late withdrawal meant they could only field three subs.
The visitors looked to have opened the scoring when Jordan Anderson dummied his way through a gap and then played in Jamie Graves, but the referee chalked it off after ruling Anderson’s pass forward.
That would prove to be costly to the visitors, especially when the home side capitalised on that mistake and got a try of their own through Jowett in the far left corner, with Miller goaling from an acute angle to rub further salt into the wounds.
Free-flowing rugby league did not follow that first score, though. In fact, it was quite the opposite as both sides found themselves bogged down in midfield and consistently found it difficult to complete sets.
When Huddersfield did get into another attacking position on the back of a decent half-break from George King, the left edge proved to be fruitful once more when Joel Farrell built on the platform laid by the second-rower to scoot over from dummy half.
Miller converted the difficult kick once more to make it 12-0.
Any momentum gained from that score was quickly halted when makeshift No1 Jordan Higo knocked-on from the kick-off and put the visitors in a position to pounce.
Farrell’s intercept dashed any hope of Castleford clawing any points back before half-time, though, and it set them on course to be trailing by three tries at the break as Miller played in Jake Shoel later in the set.
And then the scrum half made it 18-0 just before the break.
The Tigers looked in a more buoyant mood at the start of the second half and quickly got themselves over for a four-pointer when Jake Dehal-Clark’s grubber-through was fumbled by Jowett and pounced upon by Brad England.
Some slick passing between Ben Whitehead and Jake Connor quickly got the Giants back in business, with Jowett being the beneficiary and Miller slotting over once more.
And, after a couple of near misses from the visitors, any hopes of a comeback were quickly dashed when Anderson’s sweeping ball across was latched on to by Jowett who raced over from halfway to claim his hat-trick score. Miller converted to make it 30-6.
Despite Castleford’s best efforts to get back into the game, with Liam Lunn powering his way over the line and Jordan Gill adding the extras, the match slowly petered out as the home side secured a well-deserved victory.
The Giants will now be hoping to back this up with victory ion another re-arranged game against Featherstone Rovers on Saturday. It gets underway at Big Fellas Stadium at 2.30pm.
Giants: Higo; Noel, Hunt, Connor, Jowett; Whitehead, Miller; Mason, Farrell, Blackbrough, King, Shoel, Dewhirst. Subs: Maskelll, Hall, Flanaghan.
Young Giants Super League prop Josh Johnson was in the England Academy side that suffered a 41-10 opening Test defeat to the Australian Schoolboys in Canberra.