Two controversial tries awarded by the video referees proved decisive and left Castleford Tigers fans fuming at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle after visitors Huddersfield Giants went away with a fortunate 24-16 victory.
Craig Huby’s first half try on his return to the ground even though he appeared to lose the ball over the line and Eorl Crabtree’s late decisive effort when he appeared to be just short of the line were big decisions that went Huddersfield’s way in a close game.
Cas had fought back from 18-4 down to be just two points behind when the Crabtree try was given. Replay after replay did not prove the ball was over the line as bodies and a foot got in the way, but referee in the middle Richard Silverwood had signalled he thought it was a try so under the controversial rule for this season the benefit of the doubt went to the attacking side.
With Danny Brough adding the conversion it was game over and it all left a nasty taste in the mouth for home fans, who made their feelings known with loud chants of “cheat”.
It was hard on the Tigers after they had shown a big improvement on recent displays in the second half
They could count themselves a little unlucky to be trailing 18-4 at half-time after having the worst of the initial controversial refereeing.
Video referees Ben Thaler and Steve Ganson were kept busy and made their first decision on two minutes when Denny Solomona chased a Michael Shenton grubber kick and dived over only to be ruled to have knocked on while gathering the ball.
Luke Gale’s high kick forced a drop-out as the Tigers started in positive fashion. It was then Huddersfield’s turn to get a drop-out when Kyle Wood’s kick was defended by Denny Solomona, but he was driven back over his own line.
Former Cas star Brett Ferres, who started like a house on fire, had the ball stolen as he tried to reach out to get ball over the line. Culprit Ryan Bailey escaped a sin-binning and a little melee that followed it went unpunished.
Soon after another former Tiger, Huby, was given a try even he seemed to think was not after seeing the replay on the big screen. His short range charge had caught the hosts out, but the ball came loose as he was attempting to put it down over the line under pressure.
Cas looked to hit back as Solomona raced away only to be tackled by last line of defence Kyle Wood, but the Giants scored again when a Brough high kick came off Solomona and Aaron Murphy won the chase to the loose ball over the line for another try converted by Brough.
The Tigers stayed in the game and were unlucky when Frankie Mariano was held up over the line before a Gale high kick was knocked back by Tansey near the line only for the move to end on the last tackle.
Just when it looked as if they would have another half without scoring against Huddersfield after the nil they record at the John Smiths Stadium earlier in the season they finally came up with a try. Jake Webster shrugged off a couple of would-be tacklers on a powerful run to the line and Cas had a lifeline even if Gale could not convert.
However, with the last play of the half they conceded again, Ukuma Ta’ai going over from close range and Brough converting.
Castleford looked pumped up at the start of the second half and within three minutes were mighty close to scoring again with Ben Roberts denied by the video referee after attempting to burrow over from close range.
Five minutes later there was no denying Roberts as he produced a superb dummy and break from dummy-half to score a terrific solo try. Gale goaled to cut the gap to eight points.
Another try followed when skipper Michael Shenton smartly finished off a flowing move and with Gale kicking his second goal it was really game on now at 18-16 with 15 minutes to play.
But it was Huddersfield who finished the stronger as Crabtree was given his fortunate try to win the game with five minutes left.
Scorers - Castleford: Tries Webster, Roberts, Shenton; goals Gale 2. Huddersfield: Tries Huby, Murphy, Ta’ai; Crabtree; goals Brough 4.
Castleford Tigers: Tansey; Gibson, Webster, Shenton, Solomona; Roberts, Gale; Lynch, Milner, Bailey, Holmes, Mariano, Massey. Subs: Millington, Jewitt, Finn, McMeeken.
Huddersfield Giants: Grix; McGilvary, Murphy, Connor, Broughton; Brough, Wood; Mullally, Leeming, Huby, Wardle, Hughes, Ferres. Subs: Robinson, Crabtree, Kopczak, Ta’ai.
Referee: Richard Silverwood.