Huddersfield 0-24 Castleford: Tigers boost Super League play-off aspirations
Last Updated: 18/08/19 5:49pm
A second-half burst of points helped Castleford keep their Betfred Super League play-off hopes alive with a 24-0 victory at relegation-threatened Huddersfield.
The Tigers stay sixth, behind Salford on points difference, with their remaining fixtures all against sides above them in the table and also scrapping for the most advantageous play-off positions.
Castleford play host to Hull FC either side of trips to league leaders St Helens and in-form Wigan but gained a crucial and confidence-boosting success at the John Smith's Stadium through tries from James Clare, Adam Milner, Mike McMeeken and Jesse Sene-Lefao, plus four goals from Adam Ellis.
Huddersfield have now lost eight of their last 10 matches and are only kept off of the bottom of the table by a marginally favourable points difference, with an equally tough run-in comprising games at Hull FC and St Helens followed by a final home game against faltering Catalans Dragons.
The hosts were dealt a blow before the game even kicked off with back Innes Senior pulling out in the warm-up with a leg injury, and showed little to suggest they can halt their recent slide with a largely toothless showing.
Darnell McIntosh, 18th man, came in at centre for Senior and it was on the wing that he occupied that Clare squeezed over in the corner to open the scoring for the visitors.
Ellis, in only his second game back after a lengthy spell out injured, failed to master the blustery wind with the conversion attempt.
Lee Gaskell appeared to have ghosted through the Cas defence but was hauled back for obstruction, while Greg Minikin crossed at the other end but the try was ruled out for a forward pass.
The visitors looked the more ambitious and lively, with a break from former Giants full-back Jordan Rankin being among the more rousing moments of an otherwise largely forgettable first half.
Ellis hacked on a loose ball but knocked on trying to pick it up before diving over just before the break.
The second period began in equally uninspiring fashion until Milner bundled his way over next to the posts in the 50th minute and Ellis added the extras.
Huddersfield's task became more difficult when Alex Mellor was sin-binned for preventing Oliver Holmes running onto a grubber in-goal but Ellis still extended their advantage through the subsequent penalty.
Moments later the game became almost irretrievable when McMeeken was first to ground another grubber and Ellis added his third goal.
Ten minutes from the end Sene-Lefao shook off a weak tackle to score Cas' fourth try.
The Giants, who lost 44-0 to Leeds in their previous home match, have now gone 161 minutes without scoring a point in front of their own supporters.