By George! Giants run riot
Castleford cut to shreds as winger grabs yet another hat-trick
By Rob Lancaster. Last Updated: 16/03/12 11:18pm
Huddersfield moved two points clear at the Stobart Super League summit with a 42-4 victory over struggling Castleford at the Galpharm Stadium.
The in-form Giants handed their Yorkshire rivals a sixth straight loss thanks to a hat-trick of tries from Luke George, who has now achieved the feat three times at home already in 2012.
Nathan Brown's side have now made their best ever start to a Super League - in contrast, the poor Tigers look to be in serious trouble.
They at least welcomed back coach Ian Millward from compassionate leave, but even the sight of the Australian in the stands couldn't inspire the players to halt a dreadful run of form since they won at Salford on opening night.
George had missed Huddersfield's win over Wakefield last Sunday but quickly made up for lost time by breaking the deadlock after 11 minutes, kicking over the top of full-back Richard Owen to collect and finish out wide.
A wonderful pass back on the inside by Simon Grix put Greg Eden through for a try against his old club and when Joe Wardle blasted his way over, the writing was on the wall for Cas.
Millward's reaction was to make four changes straight after Danny Brough kicked the first of his five conversions. His reshuffled side responded with their best period of pressure, winning three quick penalties in succession.
Having seen Jacob Emmitt - one of those thrown on to make a difference by the Tigers boss - held up underneath the uprights, the visitors worked the ball wide for a diving Nick Youngquest to finish.
When Giants forward Jason Chan was sin-binned and put on report for a 'chicken-wing' tackle soon after, there seemed to be renewed hope that Castleford could fight their way back into proceedings.
Instead they conceded twice more before the break, Larne Patrick cutting through easily for the first before George gathered Brown's grubber to cash in on an error by Owen.
The ex-Wakefield winger had to wait less than a minute into the second half to complete yet another treble, the third the easiest of the lot as he walked in out wide after James Clare had coughed up the ball next to his own line.
He turned from scorer to provider on the very next set, sending the ball back on the inside for the supporting Brown to race over, and then saw a fourth slip from his grasp when he couldn't collect a pass around his boot laces.
Michael Lawrence opted not to even use the supporting George when the Giants pushed again down the left-hand side, bulldozing through for his first try of a campaign that has seen him switch from the centres to the second row.
Injury eventually forced George to give up his quest for another score and the hosts took their foot off the gas in the final quarter with the points in the bag.
To their credit, the Tigers battled bravely through to the end before the final hooter finally put them out of their misery. They will hope home comforts can help them get back on track, as they host both Hull sides in the next fortnight.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves