Match Report: Castleford Tigers 18-31 Hull FC
Hull FC made it three wins on the bounce with an impressive effort to down Castleford Tigers on their home turf 31-18 on Friday evening.
A thrilling second-half saw Albert Kelly bag a hat-trick and Ratu Naualgo complete an impressive brace as Marc Sneyd surpassed 1000 points for the club with a stellar performance.
The win strengthen’s Hull’s spot in the top five as they push on into the second-half of the Betfred Super League campaign.
The Black & Whites were boosted by the return of Scott Taylor, who returned to start on the bench.
Kieran Buchanan came into the squad to replace suspended Josh Griffin.
Josh Bowden was also rested, while the Black & Whites remained without Gareth Ellis, Jordan Lane, Masi Matongo, and Carlos Tuimavave.
Casteford were first on the scoreboard through Greg Minkin after just 11 minutes in the contest. The Tigers sent the ball to the right with their first real attack of the game, with Mata’utia’s ball ending up in the centre’s arms, allowing him to hit a gap in the FC defensive line and score.
Hull were soon back in the contest, with Ratu Naulago bagging the Airlie Birds’ first try of the contest after a quarter of an hour. An outrageous offload from Jake Connor when the play looked as good as dead, found the winger who evaded Truman to dive over in the corner.
Mata’utia put the Tigers ahead midway through the half slotting over a penalty in front of the sticks, before a further penalty goal from the full-back in the 33rd minute made the gap four points.
The hosts went further ahead just before the break, with Junior Moors making the most of an Albert Kelly error under the posts. The half-back could not keep hold of a grubber towards the FC line, spilled the ball and the Tigers forward made the most of the error.
HALF-TIME: Castleford 14-4 Hull FC
Hull hit back and gained the first points after the restart, and it was Naulago who bagged his second. Quick hands from Kelly and Shaul allowed space for the Fijian to cross in the corner once more. Sneyd’s kick reduced the gap to four.
And the Black & Whites were soon ahead for the first time in the game with an outstanding breakaway. Connor broke free of the grasp of the Tigers defenders in his own half, fending off opposition players on his way before his offload found Albert Kelly, who had the legs to finish an outstanding score.
Sneyd added the goal and a further penalty shortly after to take the lead to four points.
Castleford soon had their third try of the game, with Greg Eden reaching out to score with just over a quarter of an hour left on the clock. The scores were set level at 18-a-piece as Mata’utia missed the kick.
In a thrilling second-half, it was Hull who were next on the scoreboard. A sublime cross-field kick from Marc Sneyd looked to be heading too deep, but it was patted back by Jake Connor for Albert Kelly to touch down.
Hull looked to have the game sealed when an almost identical move resulted in Jamie Shaul touching down in the corner just two minutes later, but it was ruled out by the video referee.
And Lee Radford’s men sealed the win in spectacular fashion with Albert Kelly completing a hat-trick. Castleford knocked-on while attacking the Hull line, allowing Naulago to break away once again. He had the pace to finish the try, but unselfishly fed the ball to Kelly who finished off the move. Sneyd slotted over the goal which took him past 1000 points for the club - only the tenth player to do so for the club.
Sneyd won’t be stopping at 1000, and he made sure by sealing the win with a drop-goal in the closing stages.
FULL-TIME: Castleford 18-31 Hull FC
Castleford Tigers: Peter Mata’utia, James Clare, Greg Minikin, Cheyse Blair, Greg Eden, Jordan Rankin, Jake Truman, Liam Watts, Paul McShane, Daniel Smith, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Mike McMeeken, Nathan Massey.
Interchange: Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Junior Moors, Matt Cook.
Hull FC: Jamie Shaul, Bureta Faraimo, Kieran Buchanan, Jake Connor, Ratu Naulago, Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd, Chris Green, Danny Houghton, Mickey Paea, Dean Hadley, Mark Minichiello, Joe Westerman.
Interchange: Scott Taylor, Brad Fash, Danny Washbrook, Andre Savelio.
Castleford Tries: Minkin (11), Moors (36), Greg Eden (63)
Castleford Goals: Mata’utia (4/5)
Hull FC Tries: Naulago (15, 48), Kelly (53, 66, 72)
Hull FC Goals: Sneyd (5/6)
Hull FC Drop-Goals: Sneyd (75)