Match Report: Hull FC 32-28 Castleford Tigers

Match Report: Hull FC 32-28 Castleford Tigers

The report from Hull FC’s clash with Castleford Tigers at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle

Match Report News

Hull FC returned to winning ways as they defeated Castleford Tigers 32-28 in a feisty and dramatic encounter at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

In a game that ebbed and flowed, Jake Connor scored the winning try in the closing stages to seal the two points for FC.

There were maiden Hull FC tries for four players this evening; Cameron Scott, Jordan Johnstone, Chris Satae and Ben McNamara.

Mike McMeeken scored a brace for the Tigers, whilst there were also tries for Greg Eden, Michael Shenton and Grant Millington, but it was to be Hull FC’s evening on a chilly October evening in West Yorkshire.

Team News

Andy Last made five changes from the side that faced Salford Red Devils last Thursday, with Jamie Shaul, Josh Griffin, Danny Houghton, Manu Ma’u and Jack Brown all dropping out of the squad.

Scott Taylor has recovered from a back injury and made his first appearance since rugby returned following lockdown.

Marc Sneyd also returned to the side after missing out through coronavirus protocols last week, whilst Kieran Buchanan and Johnstone both came back in.

McNamara, son of former FC player and current Catalans Head Coach Steve, started on the bench and came on to make his debut for the Black & Whites.

The Tigers were also without several players, with Derrell Olpherts, Danny Richardson, Liam Watts, Oliver Holmes, Jesse Sene-Lefao and Calum Turner all out of the squad.

However, Daryl Powell welcomed Adam Milner and Junior Moors back into his Tigers squad, with the forward duo both starting in the match.

The Match

In a week where youngsters have thrived in the Betfred Super League, it was another academy graduate who opened the scoring at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle. Connor collected a high Sneyd kick and offloaded – the ball was then spread wide to Scott who dived in at the corner to score his first senior try. Sneyd converted from wide.

The Tigers found an immediate response and it was all thanks to a cut-throat clean break from Gareth O’Brien just inside the Hull half. O’Brien, who was operating in the halves, found McMeeken supporting on the inside and the forward scored underneath the sticks. O’Brien levelled the scores with the kick.

Hull were behind after 15 minutes, despite showing some positive signs in the early exchanges. However, Eden took advantage of space on the left edge and strolled in. He arched his run to underneath the posts, giving O’Brien the easy conversion.

In the strangest of circumstances, Hull found themselves on level terms after half-an-hour. A scuffle in midfield took several players out of the game, but FC remained in possession of the ball and took advantage of the numbers as Connor fed the ball to Johnstone, who scored his maiden try in Black & White colours after evading the challenge of O’Brien.

With just five minutes remaining until half-time, the Airlie Birds took the opportunity to re-take the lead as Sneyd kicked a penalty in front of the sticks after a late tackle on Johnstone.

Tempers continued to rise in the match following the earlier scuffle and another late tackle from the Tigers saw Matt Cook sent to the sin-bin.

HALF-TIME: Castleford Tigers 12-14 Hull FC

After back-to-back sets, Hull had the first points of the second half as Satae barged over from close range to score his first try since joining the club. Sneyd converted to make it 20-12.

The Tigers stayed within touching distance of the Black & Whites and they managed to reduce the deficit when Millington fended off Connor and stretched an arm out to score. But O’Brien couldn’t convert, so it remained 20-16 to Andy Last’s side.

The rugby league gods were smiling on several Hull players without a try in Black & White colours this evening – maiden tries were being given out to a number of players, and next up to score his first try for the club was none other than McNamara on his debut.

The young halfback linked up with Connor, with the England international showing good handling skills before supplying McNamara with the ball on the inside. Sneyd converted to make it 26-16.

The kicking tee was back on the field just a few seconds later, as Castleford kicked out on the full from the restart. Sneyd decided to attempt to add the two, but his attempt from halfway drifted narrowly wide.

McMeeken added his second of the evening, crashing over from close range as Castleford executed a training ground move well. O’Brien’s conversion made it 26-22 in favour of FC with less than ten minutes remaining.

With five minutes remaining, the Tigers drew level. Paul McShane stabbed a grubber kick through and Michael Shenton was on hand to dot the ball down despite the best efforts of the Hull defence. O’Brien’s all-important conversion gave the Tigers a slender 28-26 lead.

Just as it seemed Castleford had snatched victory from the claws of Hull, the visitors regained possession from the restart. Sneyd and Connor were on the same page as the former put in a delightful kick, which the latter collected and scored underneath the sticks.

FULL-TIME: Castleford Tigers 28-32 Hull FC

Squads & Scorers

Hull FC: Kieran Buchanan, Bureta Faraimo, Mahe Fonua, Carlos Tuimavave, Cameron Scott, Jake Connor, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Jordan Johnstone, Josh Bowden, Jordan Lane, Andre Savelio, Joe Cator

Hull FC Interchanges: Brad Fash, Ben McNamara, Ligi Sao, Chris Satae

Hull Tries: Scott, Johnstone, Satae, McNamara, Connor

Hull Goals: Sneyd (6/7)

Castleford: James Clare, Greg Eden, Michael Shenton, Cheyse Blair, Jack Sanderson, Gareth O’Brien, Paul McShane, George Griffin, Adam Milner, Tyla Hepi, Mike McMeeken, Junior Moors, Grant Millington

Castleford Interchanges: Matt Cook, Nathan Massey, Jacques O’Neill, Lewis Peachey

Castleford Tries: McMeeken (2), Eden, Millington

Castleford Goals: O’Brien (3/5)