Castleford Tigers secured their seventh consecutive Betfred Super League away victory after they overcame a determined Huddersfield Giants in a 24-16 win at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The visitors ran in four tries to the Giants’ three as they overturned a 12-6 half-time deficit to maintain their excellent form which saw them crowned as league winners with four matches remaining.
Jake Webster marked his 200th match in English rugby league with a trademark drive over the whitewash to put Castleford ahead but Oliver Roberts went over from short range after excellent work from Sebastine Ikahihifo before Paul Clough touched down and a Jordan Rankin penalty put the hosts ahead at the break.
Ben Roberts sliced through the Huddersfield defence to level the scores before Greg Eden grabbed his 36th league try of the season to put the Tigers 18-12 up.
Luke Gale extended the lead further with a try of his own and added his fourth kick of the match, while Darnell McIntosh added a consolation score for the Giants, three minutes from time.
FT: Giants 16-24 Tigers— Castleford Tigers (@CTRLFC) September 1, 2017
An electric start to the second half sees Castleford turn the game around and claim another win. pic.twitter.com/0ZssSI10If
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell hailed the strength of his squad after making several changes to his pack.
"They all did pretty well," he said. 'There is competition for places all over the place.
"Alex Foster was superb tonight, the guys in the middle - Larne and Gadwin - did some good things, while Cooky did pretty well having to start in the pack after we did a reshuffle this morning, so the competition for places is there.
"Kevin Larroyer did a bit at the end and people are fighting for spots as there’s a lot of pride in there.
"I’m working towards getting our best team together (for the play-offs) but I won’t rest people for the sake of it.
"Whoever we play against (in their home semi-final) it’s important that we have momentum, as we know whoever finishes fourth - whether it’s Wakefield, Wigan or St Helens - will have that."
Giants boss Rick Stone, whose side are now all but out of the race for the top four, said: "I’m a bit disappointed for the boys.
"We didn’t manage the second half as well as we could have but they are a quality opposition and against the better teams you have to play to your potential.
"It’s hard to keep playing your best every week and the boys have worked hard to get in a position where a top-four place was a possibility.
"We still have a lot to play for - for our own pride and for our fans so we will still turn up and give 100 per cent every week until the end of the season.
"They (Castleford) had a couple of key players out tonight and it’s going to take a couple of good performances to roll them."