Huddersfield Giants 28 Castleford Tigers 40: Cas coach Powell frustrated by second-half no-shows
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Initially, Castleford were in full control at depleted Huddersfield Giants, easing into a 28-6 interval lead.
They looked on course for a routine win but somehow ended up getting pegged back and were clinging on at 30-22 after 71 minutes.
Tigers are getting a bad reputation for their shoddy performances after the break and it is a trait that is maddening Powell.
Indeed, until Alex Foster – Castleford’s best player with a tireless effort from loose-forward – scored his second with eight minutes to go, it looked like being a fourth second half in the last five outings where they failed to score a second-half try.
“We’re not coming out after half-time and playing the same way we have in the first,” Powell said.
“It’s a little disappointing. There’s a consistency to it. We’re ticking along all right in terms of picking up points but we’re not playing that great.
“We just had a good chat about it. The players are as frustrated as our fans will be and as I am.
“We talked about giving the speccies half their money back – we’re only giving them 40 minutes of value at the moment!
“A lot of it has to be mental, there’s no other reason.”
Even without Man of Steel Luke Gale, who missed the game after rolling an ankle in training, Castleford had steamrollerd Huddersfield early on.
Paul McShane opened the scoring in the fifth minute after Foster’s ball-steal on Jared Simpson and Greg Minkin soon added another from Jake Trueman’s fine cut-out pass.
Huddersfield’s discipline was so poor they were handed a team warning as early as the 22nd minute, McShane then dinking a grubber through for Foster’s first try before Giants centre Jordan Turner was sin-binned for taking a Castleford player out off the ball when defending a kick.
Benny Roberts produced a no-look pass to send Jake Webster over for their fourth try and a 22-0 lead in the 28th minute.
Huddersfield replied via Ukuma Ta’ai but there was still time for the visitors to add a fifth before the break, Greg Eden scoring his first try of the season after missing the previous four games with a hamstring problem.
However, the 2017 Super League top try-scorer pulled the same hamstring again in the process and did not return for the second half.
Powell confirmed: “Greg’s going through a tough time at the moment. He trained all week and he looked fine so it’s massively disappointing and a big blow.”
Daniel Smith started the Giants comeback before 17-year-old winger Innes Senior scored two tries on his home debut – his twin brother Louis started on the other flank – and Castleford’s Adam Milner saw yellow for use of a forearm.
Jamie Ellis kicked a penalty – he finished with six goals – to settle Tigers’ nerves but Huddersfield got in again via Shannon Wakeman before Shenton added some gloss with the final play.
Huddersfield Giants: Simpson; L Senior, Turner, Murphy, Innes Senior; Gaskell, Rankin; Ikahihifo, O’Brien, Ta’ai, Ferguson, Lawrence, Smith. Substitutes: Clough, Wakeman, Roberts, English.
Castleford Tigers: Trueman; Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Eden; Roberts, Ellis; Watts, McShane, Millington, Holmes, Wardle, Foster. Substitutes: Moors, McMeeken, Milner, Springer.
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).