|Castleford (13) 19|
|Tries: O’Brien, Eden, Sanderson Goals: O’Brien 3 Drop-goal: O’Brien|
|Huddersfield (12) 31|
|Tries: McGillvary 3, Wardle, Sezer Goals: Sezer 5 Drop-goal: Sezer|
Aidan Sezer orchestrated a thrilling Huddersfield Giants comeback against Castleford Tigers with a 15-point haul.
Tigers edged the first half as Gareth O’Brien’s penalty and drop-goal sent them in ahead after the Giants bounced back from 10-0 down to lead 12-10.
Jack Sanderson’s debut try and an O’Brien goal built on the lead to give Cas belief of the win.
However, Sezer’s try, drop-goal and Jermaine McGillvary’s two scores to complete a hat-trick swung the match.
There was much to enjoy about both sides in a lively, open Super League game, as they continued to let each other off the hook when in the ascendancy.
Castleford were aggressive in defence, typified by the no-fear approach of Tyla Hepi and Jacques O’Neill off the bench, while O’Brien and Paul McShane provided the creativity.
Greg Eden and Sanderson scored spectacular tries for the Tigers, who looked good in attack in large phases.
But Daryl Powell’s side inevitably failed to shut out the game, with this defeat giving their play-off hopes another savage dent on the back of their Challenge Cup exit to Hull in the sixth round earlier this month.
However, credit must go to his opposite number, interim boss Luke Robinson has now engineered back-to-back wins for Giants since replacing Simon Woolford.
Jake Wardle highlighted his immense talent with a wonderful solo try and some searing breaks, while McGillvary’s hat-trick was evidence of his great value out wide.
Robinson’s side showed character and belief, spurred on by the class of Sezer and move above Castleford in the table.
Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell:
“[On being without Jake Trueman and Danny Richardson] It’s a nightmare, losing both your half-backs. We’re cobbling together teams every week.
“The whole world is tough at the moment but we’ve probably been affected as much as anybody.
“We’re battling our way through quite a few things at the moment. As a result, we have limited consistency in what we’re doing as a team.”
Huddersfield Giants interim head coach Luke Robinson:
“Jerry [McGillvary] has been so consistent over the years, you expect it from him.
“Jake Wardle showed why the NRL were all over him before we managed to secure his signature, he was the best player on the field, he was sensational.
“He’s one of the most naturally gifted players I’ve been amongst.”
Castleford: Clare; Sanderson, Blair, Shenton, Eden; O’Brien, Turner; Watts, McShane, Griffin, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey.
Interchanges: Millington, O’Neill, Hepi, Fleming.
Huddersfield: Golding; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, McIntosh; Turner, Sezer; Wilson, Holmes, Matagi, Edwards, McQueen, Lawrence.
Interchanges: Russell, Wood, Trout, Gavet.
Referee: L. Moore