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By George! Giants run riot
Castleford cut to shreds as winger grabs yet another hat-trick
Huddersfield moved two points clear at the Stobart Super League summit with a 42-4 victory over struggling Castleford at the Galpharm Stadium.
The in-form Giants handed their Yorkshire rivals a sixth straight loss thanks to a hat-trick of tries from Luke George, who has now achieved the feat three times at home already in 2012.
Nathan Brown's side have now made their best ever start to a Super League - in contrast, the poor Tigers look to be in serious trouble.
They at least welcomed back coach Ian Millward from compassionate leave, but even the sight of the Australian in the stands couldn't inspire the players to halt a dreadful run of form since they won at Salford on opening night.
George had missed Huddersfield's win over Wakefield last Sunday but quickly made up for lost time by breaking the deadlock after 11 minutes, kicking over the top of full-back Richard Owen to collect and finish out wide.
A wonderful pass back on the inside by Simon Grix put Greg Eden through for a try against his old club and when Joe Wardle blasted his way over, the writing was on the wall for Cas.
Millward's reaction was to make four changes straight after Danny Brough kicked the first of his five conversions. His reshuffled side responded with their best period of pressure, winning three quick penalties in succession.
Having seen Jacob Emmitt - one of those thrown on to make a difference by the Tigers boss - held up underneath the uprights, the visitors worked the ball wide for a diving Nick Youngquest to finish.
When Giants forward Jason Chan was sin-binned and put on report for a 'chicken-wing' tackle soon after, there seemed to be renewed hope that Castleford could fight their way back into proceedings.
Instead they conceded twice more before the break, Larne Patrick cutting through easily for the first before George gathered Brown's grubber to cash in on an error by Owen.
The ex-Wakefield winger had to wait less than a minute into the second half to complete yet another treble, the third the easiest of the lot as he walked in out wide after James Clare had coughed up the ball next to his own line.
He turned from scorer to provider on the very next set, sending the ball back on the inside for the supporting Brown to race over, and then saw a fourth slip from his grasp when he couldn't collect a pass around his boot laces.
Michael Lawrence opted not to even use the supporting George when the Giants pushed again down the left-hand side, bulldozing through for his first try of a campaign that has seen him switch from the centres to the second row.
Injury eventually forced George to give up his quest for another score and the hosts took their foot off the gas in the final quarter with the points in the bag.
To their credit, the Tigers battled bravely through to the end before the final hooter finally put them out of their misery. They will hope home comforts can help them get back on track, as they host both Hull sides in the next fortnight.Super League. Click here to bet.
Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||21||18|
|10||Salford Red Devils||21||17|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||21||2|
|Thursday 24th July|
|20:00||Hull vs Castleford|
|Friday 25th July|
|20:00||Salford vs Leeds|
|20:00||St Helens vs Widnes|
|Saturday 26th July|
|15:00||London Broncos vs Hull K R|
|Sunday 27th July|
|15:00||Bradford vs Wigan|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Catalan Dragons|
|15:00||Warrington vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 31st July|
|20:00||Wigan vs Salford|
|Friday 1st August|
|20:00||Hull vs St Helens|
|20:00||Leeds vs Bradford|
|Sunday 20th July|
|Hull K R 18 - 38 Salford|
|Huddersfield 52 - 26 Bradford|
|Saturday 19th July|
|Catalan Dragons 40 - 6 Wakefield|
|London Broncos 16 - 58 St Helens|
|Friday 18th July|
|Wigan 56 - 10 Hull|
|Widnes 28 - 14 Warrington|
|Thursday 17th July|
|Leeds 24 - 24 Castleford|
|Sunday 13th July|
|Warrington 72 - 12 London Broncos|
|Saturday 12th July|
|Catalan Dragons 16 - 37 Wigan|
|Salford 35 - 22 Hull|
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