Castleford Tigers 26 Huddersfield Giants 18: Jake Trueman injury takes shine off impressive win for Lee Radford's side

As the minutes ticked away at Wheldon Road, Castleford Tigers had the look of a side on the brink of making a decisive move in the race for the play-offs.

The Tigers were simply too good for off-colour Huddersfield Giants on their way to a third straight win that moves Lee Radford's team up to fifth in the Super League table.

With Jake Trueman and Danny Richardson pulling the strings, Castleford were visibly growing in confidence as a unit.

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But they were left sweating over the fitness of Trueman after he left the field nursing a worrying-looking knee injury.

With Ryan Hampshire and Gareth O'Brien already sidelined, the Tigers can ill afford to lose Trueman.

The half-back was at his influential best in the first half to help give Castleford an unassailable 20-6 lead at the break.

Huddersfield scored two late tries to give the scoreline a respectable look but Ian Watson's side were uncharacteristically blunt in the absence of the injured Ricky Leutele.

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In the early stages, it appeared as if the Giants had picked up where they left off in a sixth straight Super League win at Craven Park last week.

Castleford Tigers celebrate Jake Mamo's try. (Picture: Tigers celebrate Jake Mamo's try. (Picture:
Castleford Tigers celebrate Jake Mamo's try. (Picture:

At the end of the first set of the game, Will Pryce's inch-perfect deep kick was matched by the chase to pen Greg Eden in his in-goal area.

Castleford survived the early raid but the Giants kept knocking on the door, Leroy Cudjoe going agonisingly close when he was dragged down just short of the tryline.

Huddersfield forced another drop-out at the end of the set but Tui Lolohea pushed a pass and before the visitors knew it they were 20-0 down.

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Lolohea was forced into another error in the build-up to the opener, Kenny Edwards playing at the full-back's arm from marker to give Trueman the chance to send Derrell Olpherts over.

The manner of the try knocked Huddersfield off their stride as the Tigers took a firm grip on the contest.

Trueman was in inspired form, scoring a scintillating solo try after picking up the ball from dummy-half 30 metres from his own line.

The half-back benefited from a quick play the ball by Olpherts but still had plenty to do, the highlight a step that left Lolohea in his wake.

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Richardson added his second conversion and then kicked a brilliant 40/20 to keep Castleford on the front foot.

When Huddersfield were penalised for offside in the next set, Richardson knocked over a penalty to make it 14-0 to the Tigers.

Radford's men were as tenacious as they were clinical, Oliver Russell driven back 20 metres in a promising situation for the away side.

Russell endured a tough evening with Castleford quick to shut down the half-back's space, leaving the Giants - already missing Leutele - without their usual threat on the left edge.

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The Tigers were having no such issues at the other end of the pitch, extending their lead on the half-hour mark when Trueman's long pass caught Jermaine McGillvary out of position and Olpherts reached out to score his second.

Huddersfield awoke from their slumber on 34 minutes as they gave Castleford a reminder of what they are capable of.

There appeared to be little on when Innes Senior gathered Russell's kick on the last but in a flash, the Giants moved the ball out to the right where McGillvary defied physics to touch down in the corner.

Pryce added the extras from the touchline to give Huddersfield a glimmer of hope heading into half-time.

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The Giants needed to score first after the restart but instead it was Castleford that struck a crucial blow thanks to two former Huddersfield players.

The home side kept the ball alive and Edwards was the man to open his parent club up, brushing off Pryce before putting Jake Mamo over with a silky offload.

Richardson blotted his copybook by sending his conversion attempt wide but he made no mistake from a penalty to extend Castleford's lead to 26-6.

Trueman gave the Tigers a scare when he stayed down holding his knee, although he was initially given the all-clear by the medical staff.

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The playmaker returned after receiving a green card only to hobble off again in clear discomfort.

Castleford suffered another blow when Paul McShane, who started the game on the bench, was sin-binned for a spear tackle.

The Tigers continued to dig deep on their own line but buckled twice in the dying minutes, Chris McQueen storming over before Luke Yates raced through to give Pryce an easy finish.

There was still time for Edwards to see yellow in an eventful finish to a game that belonged to Castleford.

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Castleford Tigers: Eden, Faraimo, Mamo, Fonua, Olpherts, Trueman, Richardson, Massey, Milner, Griffin, Edwards, Mellor, Westerman.

Substitutes: McShane, Lawler, Smith, Matagi.

Huddersfield Giants: Lolohea, McGillvary, Cudjoe, King, I Senior, Pryce, Russell, Wilson, Levi, Trout, Jones, McQueen, Yates.

Substitutes: Golding, Lawrence, Greenwood, Ikahihifo.

Referee: Jack Smith.