Peter Mata’utia was Castleford Tigers’ hero tonight as he landed a golden-point field goal to secure a 27-26 victory against Huddersfield Giants at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle.
In a game that was nip and tuck throughout, Giants’ stand-off Lee Gaskell was unlucky to finish on the losing side after scoring a hat-trick of tries.
At half-time the Giants led 10-12 after the first two of Gaskell’s tries, both converted by Oliver Russell, while the Tigers scored one try from Greg Minikin and three goals from Mata’utia.
The Tigers drew level with Mata’utia’s third penalty before Gaskell scored his third converted try for a 12-18 lead.
The Tigers hit back with a converted try by Liam Watts, with Mata’utia’s penalty giving them a two-point lead.
Russell equalised, however, when he kicked a penalty for the Giants, who seemed to have won the game when Joe Wardle forced his way over the line for a converted try putting them 20-26 ahead with five minutes remaining.
But the Tigers scored a late try from Grant Millington, who touched down a grubber under the posts, with Mata’utia converting and then landing the winning field-goal in the second half of golden point time.
Tigers: Peter Mata’utia, Jame Clare, Greg Minikin, Cheyse Blair, Greg Eden, Jake Trueman, Jordan Rankin, Liam Watts, Paul McShane, Daniel Smith, Chris Clarkson, Mikc McMeeken, Nathan Massey; Subs: Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Matt Cook, Mitch Clark
Tries: Minikin, Watts, Millington Goals: Mata’utia 7 Field Goal: Mata’utia
Giants: Darnell McIntosh, Jermaine McGillvary, Jordan Turner, Jake Wardle, Innes Senior, Lee Gaskell, Oliver Russell, Matty English, Adam O’Brien, Suaia Matagi, Joe Wardle, Alex Mellor, Aaron Murphy; Subs: Kruise Leeming, Paul Clough, Michael Lawrence, Ukuma Ta’ai
Tries: Gaskell 3, Joe Wardle Goals: Russell 5
A full report and photos from this game will feature in Monday’s League Express.