Castleford Tigers 18 Huddersfield Giants 32: McGillvary hat-trick fires Giants to victory

Huddersfield Giants booked their place in the Super 8s with a storming 32-18 triumph to stun hosts Castleford.

Huddersfield Giants' Lee Gaskell is held by Castleford Tigers' Grant Millington Jake Webster and Jamie Ellis.

England winger Jermaine McGillvary led the visitors’ charge with a well-taken hat trick to deny the Tigers the chance to move up to second in the Super League table with one week of the regular season remaining.

The victory made it five from the last six games for head coach Simon Woolford’s resurgent Giants, whose form in the second half of the campaign could make them a genuine threat in the play-off scrap to make it to the Old Trafford Grand Final in October.

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Castleford raced into a 12-0 lead within 10 minutes.

They opened their account when two soft Giants penalties gave Jamie Ellis the chance to step through against his former club for a try he also converted.

And the lead was doubled when Paul McShane’s blindside burst bamboozled the visiting defence and gave him the space to feed Michael Shenton, who in turn sent Jake Trueman strolling over for a second converted score.

But as the half wore on, the Giants began to wake up to the challenge and they halved the deficit when Danny Brough’s long pass enabled Leroy Cudjoe to put McGillvary over in the corner, with Brough converting.

Jordan Rankin and Adam O’Brien then combined superbly for Cudjoe to send McGillvary over for his second. Although Brough failed to add the extras, he was on target with a penalty.

McShane’s neat pass put Junior Moors over for converted try number three to restore Castleford’s lead.

But, on the stroke of half-time, Brough worked his magic to release Lee Gaskell to dummy his way over and Brough again goaled to make it 18-18 at the break.

The visitors were ahead via unconverted tries from Cudjoe, Darnell McIntosh and McGillvary’s hat-trick effort. McIntosh ‘bombed’ a golden chance to extend the lead by taking the wrong option on the halfway line, while Greg Eden was denied a try by the video referee.

Huddersfield found the perfect response as Brough banged over a penalty moments later to take them three scores ahead.

Gaskell just lost possession of the ball as he attempted to score, before Eden was denied by the television match officials.

Castleford: Laulu-Togagae, Clare, Webster, Shenton, Eden, Ellis, Trueman, Watts, McShane, Sene-Lefao, Holmes, Millington, Milner. Substitutes: Moors, Massey, Cook, Clark.

Huddersfield: Rankin, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Turner, McIntosh, Gaskell, Brough, Clough, O’Brien, Lawrence, Mellor, Murphy, Ta’ai. Substitutes: Hinchcliffe, Ferguson, Smith, Roberts.

Referee: Chris Kendall (RFL).