Huddersfield Giants ready for Super 8s after stunning revival under Woolford

Proud Huddersfield coach Simon Woolford heaped praise on his players after they booked their place in the Super 8s with a game to spare.

Proud: Huddersfield Giants coach Simon Woolford.

Woolford’s men guaranteed their spot in the top eight and a Super League place for next season with a 32-18 triumph at Castleford, who would have moved up to second with a win.

England winger Jermaine McGillvary led the charge with a well-taken hat-trick, and Lee Gaskell, Leroy Cudjoe and Darnell McIntosh also crossed and Danny Brough landed four goals.

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After making it five wins from their last six fixtures, Woolford – whose side were bottom of the table when he took over from Rick Stone in May – could not have been happier with the outcome.

“When I took over, I was expecting to be preparing us for the Qualifiers,” admitted Woolford.

“So to have secured a place in the Super 8s with a game to spare is a remarkable achievement for this group. They deserve all the credit in the world.

“From day one, they’ve bought into everything we’ve been putting into place, and it’s down to their hard work that things have turned around the way they have. I can’t fault anyone.

“We’ve come a long way in a relatively short amount of time, and, hopefully, we can keep on building and see where it gets us in the Super 8s. Wins like this one at a side like Castleford should give us a great deal of confidence.

“Our start to this game was really poor, but we fixed it up by half-time and in the second half showed signs of what we are capable of achieving.

“Everyone worked hard for each other, both in attack and defence, and gained the rewards their efforts deserved.”

Castleford were far from their best, being restricted to three first-half tries from Jake Trueman, Junior Moors and Jamie Ellis, who added the conversions.

“I thought we were off the pace, but Huddersfield were great. They played really well,” conceded coach Daryl Powell, whose side finished with 12 fit men due to injuries.

“We did cop a fair few injuries, although that wasn’t the reason we lost. We lost because of our attitude and the fact that Huddersfield looked more desperate for the win than us.

“That’s hugely disappointing, and I can’t remember the last time we fell apart in the second half as badly as we did in this game.”