Castleford Tigers produced another of their sparkling attacking displays as they ran in 10 tries and could have scored more in a 52-16 victory over Huddersfield Giants at the Mend-A-Hose jungle.
Luke Gale and Joel Monaghan led the way with each going over for hat-tricks in a display that showed why Daryl Powell’s men are at the top of the Betfred Super League.
In the process Gale passed his century of career tries and in ending with 24 points he equalled the Tigers points in a Super League game record.
Castleford will probably feel they should have been out of sight at half-time after recovering from a slow start to get a firm grip on the game only to overplay slightly and let some golden opportunities go begging.
It was Huddersfield who scored first when hooker Ryan Hinchcliffe muscled his way over from close range.
Tigers looked to reply, but their first missed chance came on 10 minutes as Luke Gale’s looping pass out to the left wing went through the fingers of Greg Eden with the line begging.
On the next attack Jake Webster fumbled Junior Moors’ offload eight metres out and it was looking like being on of those nights.
But on 19 minutes Ben Roberts’ strong run when he fended off five Giants players gave Cas good field position and Gale’s well judged grubber kick was latched onto by Roberts as he picked up and dived over for a try goaled by Gale.
Huddersfield’s restart went out on the full and the next attack brought a quick second home try when Webster dived over following Roberts’ carry and pass.
A third try in nine minutes stretched the lead with Mike McMeeken crashing over from close range after running onto Paul McShane’s clever short pass.
Gale’s goal made it 16-4 and that was how it stayed to half-time although the Tigers did have several more scoring chances.
Another Gale long pass out to Eden could not be gathered by the winger as the ball dropped to ankle height
Eden then wasted a great move started by a McShane runaround in midfield. Oliver Holmes, in his first game of the year after injury, took the ball on well and passed to Eden, but with only one man to beat he chose to kick and it was poorly executed to end up in the hands of Giants full-back Darnell McIntosh.
On the next attack Zak Hardaker juggled the ball and knocked on in a promising position after Gale’s pass to him was too forceful.
There was no stopping Cas at the start of the second half as they scored just 30 seconds in with a great sweeping move from deep in their own half. Eden raced down the left touchline and did not kick this time, instead finding Gale in support to finish off the outstanding move.
Within two minutes they were over again, Adam Milner breaking through a tackle then producing a dummy at speed to go over for a solo effort. Gale’s goal made it 26-4.
Huddersfield briefly hit back with a spectacular score of their own as former Cas player Ryan Brierley raced fully 70 metres after backing up Jermaine McGillvary’s initial burst
Brierley added the conversion, but any comeback hopes were swiftly smashed when Gale finished with a flourish for his 100th career try after backing up a great Webster break.
The points kept coming as Monaghan was next to profit from some good play by Webster.
Gale then completed his hat-trick after backing up a smart break by McShane with the Giants defence holding off expecting a kick on the last tackle.
The next try was a bit of magic as the recently introduced sub Rangi Chase completely bamboozled the Huddersfield defence with a run across the line and sly pass that sent Monaghan over
Lee Gaskell managed a consolation for the visitors after following up a Brierley kick that hit the post, but it was only fitting that Castleford had the final word with Monaghan collecting his hat-trick after collecting a well judged Chase grubber.
Gale’s touchline goal went in off the post to complete the scoring at 52 for the rampant Tigers.
Scorers - Castleford: Tries Roberts, Webster, McMeeken,Gale 3, Milner, Monaghan 3; goals . Huddersfield: Tries Hinchcliffe, Brierley, Gaskell; goals Brierley 2.
Castleford Tigers: Hardaker; Monaghan, Webster, Shenton, Eden; Roberts, Gale; Sene-Lefao, McShane, Moors, Millington, McMeeken, Milner. Subs: Cook, Springer, Chase, O Holmes.
Huddersfield Giants: McIntosh; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Mellor, Ormsby; Gaskell, Brierley; Ikahihifo, Hinchcliffe, Wakeman, Ta’ai, Ferguson, Clough. Subs: Rapira, Leeming, Smith, Dickinson.
Referee: Chris Kendall.