Rugby League

Jermaine McGillvary double helps Huddersfield sink Castleford

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Jermaine McGillvary went joint top of the Super League tryscoring chart as Huddersfield strengthened their hold on third place with an impressive 40-26 win over Castleford.

Right winger McGillvary once more pressed his claims for an England call-up by scoring two of his side's eight tries as the in-form Giants stayed on course for the semi-finals.

Long-serving prop Eorl Crabtree put the finishing touches to a third win of the season over the Tigers with a try on his 400th appearance for the club.


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Fifth-placed Castleford, who were led by scrum-half Luke Gale in the absence of injured centre Michael Shenton, now trail Huddersfield by four points and must beat St Helens in their next match next Thursday to keep alive their top-four hopes.

The Tigers actually made the brighter start and led 10-0 after 15 minutes thanks to a solo try from Gale and one carved out for winger Ashley Gibson by stand-off Ben Roberts' sleight of hand, but they were quickly put on the back foot by McGillvary, who caught the eye of one-time Australian coaching guru Phil Gould, the Penrith general manager who was among the 5,350 crowd at the John Smith's Stadium.

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The winger's two-try salvo came in the middle of a burst of four tries in a nine-minute spell while Castleford were down to 12 men, with makeshift centre Mike McMeeken in the sin bin for a trip on Huddersfield second rower Joe Wardle.

Within a minute of McMeeken seeing yellow, former Castleford favourite Craig Huby's delayed pass got loose forward Ukuma Ta'ai over for the Giants' first try.

McGillvary then beat two men to cross from close range before being released by his centre partner Leroy Cudjoe and going over in spectacular fashion from 60 metres out to take his try tally for the season to 21 and draw level with Josh Charnley and Tom Lineham.

Another breathtaking handling move, in which Tai'ai featured twice, brought a touchdown for centre Jake Connor and took Huddersfield's lead out to 20-10.

The return from the bin of McMeeken helped the visitors steady the ship, but the Giants added a fifth try just before half-time when Wardle's cut-out pass got winger Aaron Murphy over at the corner.

The home side might have been out of sight had skipper Danny Brough been able to land more than just two of his five conversion attempts and Castleford got back to within eight points early in the second half when full-back Luke Dorn sliced through the Huddersfield defence for a third try.

And, after the Giants had failed to make the most of some enterprising build-up play, the Tigers blew the game wide open when Roberts went on an arcing run straight from a scrum to score a fourth try.

However, the Giants always looked the better team and they made sure of victory with further tries from the impressive Wardle, by then playing in his old centre spot, and former Castleford scrum-half Jamie Ellis before Crabtree barged over for his landmark try.

Ellis added two conversions, but the visitors had the final say when winger Denny Solomona scored a long-range consolation try.

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