Castleford Tigers 27-26 Huddersfield Giants: Peter Mata'utia's drop-goal seals win
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 07/06/19 11:19pm
Peter Mata'utia struck in the seventh minute of extra-time to give Castleford Tigers a 27-26 victory over Huddersfield Giants on Friday evening.
A try on his 200th appearance from prop Grant Millington three minutes from the end of normal time enabled the Tigers to level the match at 26-26 and set up the fourth Super League match to be decided by golden point this year.
It was a cruel outcome for Huddersfield stand-off Lee Gaskell, who scored a hat-trick of tries only to find himself on the losing team.
The Giants had won on three of their previous seven visits to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle and they must be wondering how they let this one slip away.
The first half amounted to a catalogue of handling errors in the wet conditions, most of them from the visitors, whose back three put their side under enormous pressure with knock-ons.
Castleford's in-form prop Liam Watts typically led from the front and fellow front rower Daniel Smith was held up over the line yet all the Tigers had to show for their early domination was a brace of penalties from Mata'utia.
The Giants scored the game's first try from their second meaningful attack on 25 minutes when Gaskell slipped through a hole in the Castleford defence for his first of the season.
The former Bradford stand-off repeated the feat seven minutes later to double his tally for the season and his half-back partner Oliver Russell kicked his second conversion to make it 12-4.
The Tigers responded two minutes before half-time when centre Greg Minikin pounced on a loose ball after Huddersfield failed to clear the danger caused by Mata'utia's grubber kick and the full-back added the touchline conversion to cut the deficit to just two points.
Huddersfield almost added another try early in the second half when winger Jermaine McGillvary won the race to Darnell McIntosh's kick to the corner but could not control the grounding.
The home side drew level with Mata'utia's third penalty but fell behind again when McIntosh broke up the middle and got Gaskell over for his third try, to which Russell added his third goal.
It was all square once more on 63 minutes when Watts charged over for his side's second try and Mata'utia kicked his fifth goal from as many attempts before edging them back in front with a fourth penalty.
Russell then kicked his first penalty of the match to lock up the scores for a third time in the second half, but Huddersfield hooker Kruise Leeming was crucially penalised for throwing the ball at an opponent to gift Castleford a perfect attacking platform.
The Tigers got to within a yard of the Giants' line but failed to set up for a drop-goal as hooker Paul McShane, not for the first time this year, was held on the last tackle but this time it did not prove costly.
A 40-20 kick from Russell put his side within striking distance at the other end of the field and former Castleford second rower Joe Wardle powered his way over for what looked to be the match-winning try until Millington's late score.
Castleford half-backs Jake Trueman and Jordan Rankin then both made a hash of drop-goal attempt in the first half of extra-time before Mata'utia struck the winner in the 87th minute of the match.