Huddersfield Giants secured their play-off spot for the first time since 2015 following a 36-10 victory over Castleford at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The victory also means Ian Watson’s side are just one point behind second spot Wigan, who face Toulouse on Friday night.
The result provides the chance for Leeds to overtake Castleford in fifth spot if Rohan Smith’s side pick up a win against Warrington.
Huddersfield ran in seven tries, including a brace for Louis Senior.
Ricky Leutele was named in the centre, making his return from injury after almost two months on the sideline. Leroy Cudjoe was named on the wing.
Jamaica international Jordan Turner made his return for the first time since April, named on the bench. Meanwhile, Danny Richardson and Cheyse Blair returned to the starting XIII, with Jake Mamo on the bench.
Featuring at full-back, Greg Eden opened the scoring inside the first three minutes. Castleford were awarded good field position for a high shot on Danny Richardson, and Eden dummied his way over to score the first.
Oliver Russell hit back for the hosts on 17 minutes with his first try of the season. The half-back grounding a kick from Tui Lolohea to score Huddersfield’s first. He converted his own try for a 6-4 lead.
On his return appearance, Leutele assisted Huddersfield’s second with a superb finish from Senior in the corner to extend their lead.
HT: Huddersfield 10-4 Castleford
Mid-season Castleford signing Alex Mellor scored his first try of the season on 46 minutes against his former club. The back-rower slicing through a gap created by Richardson.
A mistake at the back from Eden gave Cudjoe a simple walk-in to regain Huddersfield’s lead on 51 minutes. The Castleford full-back dropping a high kick from Theo Fages and the ball landed into the arms of Cudjoe on the try-line.
Tui Lolohea scored his fourth try of the season just two minutes thanks to a break from Toby King for a 22-10 score.
Leutele went from try-provider to try-scorer on 62 minutes. The off-contract centre grounding a kick from Russell for his 10th try of the season.
Senior scored his second of the night and his sixth of the season directly from the restart. The Hull-KR bound winger collected the short kick-off to race away 60 metres.
England World Cup hopeful Chris McQueen continued his impressive try-scoring tally in 2022 with his 15th of the season on 68 minutes to cement their play-off spot.
Huddersfield: Lolohea, Cudjoe, Leutele, King, L.Senior, Russell, Fages, Wilson, Levi, Hill, Hewitt, McQueen, Yates. Bench: English, Greenwood, O’Brien, Mason.
Tries: Russell, L.Senior (2), Cudjoe, Lolohea, Leutele, McQueen.
Goals: Russell 4/7
Castleford: Eden, Faraimo, Sutcliffe, Fonua, Olpherts, O’Brien, Richardson, Lawler, McShane, Westerman, Blair, Mellor, Edwards. Bench: Turner, Mamo, Smith, Martin.
Tries: Eden, Mellor
Goals: Richardson 1/2
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The article Huddersfield 36-10 Castleford: Giants secure play-off spot and close in on Wigan appeared first on Loverugbyleague.com.