By Jonny Whitfield
Castleford forward Jesse Sene-Lefao scored a try with five minutes remaining as the Tigers defeated Huddersfield 26-21 to maintain their position at the top of the Betfred Super League.
The result at the John Smith’s Stadium saw Daryl Powell’s men go three points clear at the top and continue their impressive form.
Huddersfield led 18-12 at the break after a first half-hat-trick from Australian full-back Jake Mamo, supported by two Danny Brough assists – but Castleford winger Joel Monaghan was the first to touch down in the corner.
Mamo equalised from an Aaron Murphy offload before crashing over from close range and the Tigers levelled through Greg Minikin who received a looping pass out wide and went over. Mamo’s third effort came as Brough’s delicate grubber kick was collected in-goal and Huddersfield looked to be on top at half-time.
But Greg Eden claimed his 15th try of the season to level the score once more after 47 minutes before Brough’s drop goal continued the unpredictable nature of the tie at 19-18.
Both sides exchanged penalty kicks as Paul McShane and Brough slotted efforts to make it 21-20 to Huddersfield. The game’s last action saw Sene-Lefao go over on 75 minutes and ensure any wins from the chasing Super League pack will not threaten Castleford’s lead at the top.
Giants coach Rick Stone praised his team’s effort and felt they should have earned more when speaking to Sky Sports. He said: “I don’t think we got what we deserved tonight. The effort and the way we controlled the game was pretty good for most of the time.”
Opposite number Powell said: “It’s a big win for us. I’m absolutely delighted for the players, it’s the first tight game we’ve won this year.”