AFTER THE Lord Mayor’s show came the dustcart as Castleford Tigers slumped to a 22-0 defeat at Huddersfield Giants last night.
Mis-firing Tigers were a shadow of the team which had thrashed Wigan Warriors 42-14 six days earlier to record their first win of the season.
Giants defended strongly, both out wide and in the middle, but Cas threw very little at them in a poor game littered with handling errors and penalties and low on goalline action.
Huddersfield made their share of mistakes, but still managed to run in four tries as Tigers’ defence cracked at crucial times.
It was 6-0 at the break, Jamie Ellis – one of six ex-Tigers in the Giants ranks – dummying over on 38 minutes and Danny Brough – another of them – adding the extras.
It had looked like being a scoreless opening period after both teams had a touchdown ruled out by video referees Steve Ganson and Phil Bentham.
On 15 minutes Ellis kicked a 40-20 and following that Joe Wardle went over from Luke Robinson’s short ball.
Referee James Child signalled a try, but handed the decision on and the video duo said no, because of a knock-on.
Nine minutes later Michael Channing – who came into the side in place of injured Cas skipper Michael Shenton – crossed after a scramble from Liam Finn’s kick, but Child spotted a knock-on and the video refs agreed. Cas had one other chance when Matt Cook was held up by Craig Huby and Scott Grix and Luke Dorn did the same to Josh Johnson at the other end.
Having waited until two minutes before the interval for their first try, Giants added a second just four minutes after it when Ukuma Ta’ai took advantage of some poor defence to cross from a pass by Brough, who added the extras.
Justin Carney had a chance to get Tigers back in the game moments later, but he was barged into touch by Jermaine McGillvary.
With 20 left Brough sent a drop goal attempt wide, but the miss became irrelevant soon afterwards when the No 6 picked up an offload by Scott Grix and flung out a long pass to give Aaron Murphy a walk-in, confirmed by the video refs.
Brough couldn’t convert, but added a penalty on 64 and McGillvary – named man of the match for his defence opposite Carney – completed the scoring with a try two minutes from time. Tigers’ fourth defeat in five Super League games leaves them already playing catch-up and means next Friday’s visit of Salford Red Devils is crucial in in the race for a top-eight spot.
Tigers coach Daryl Powell – who was shocked by his side’s poor display – said Cas came through the game with no serious injury concerns.
Huddersfield Giants: Grix, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy, Brough, Ellis, Huby, Robinson, Kopczak, Ferres, Hughes, Lawrence. Subs (all used): Crabtree, Wood, Ta’ai, Johnson.
Castleford Tigers: Dorn, Clare, Channing, Webster, Carney, Finn, Gale, Lynch, Moore, Millington, Holmes, Moors, Massey. Subs (all used): Roberts, Cook, Wheeldon, Crossley.
Referee: James Child.