Hull FC marked their return to Super League action with an impressive 30-12 victory over Castleford Tigers.
Jason Qareqare made a blistering start on debut with a try inside the first minute, but Hull were in the driving seat for the majority of the game after braces from Adam Swift and Mahe Fonua.
Jake Connor rubber stamped the two points with a try late on, stretching Hull’s lead large enough that an Oliver Holmes try served only as a consolation for the hosts.
Following Josh Griffin’s season-ending Achilles injury, Fonua shifted into the centres, allowing Bureta Faraimo to return to the matchday squad.
Carlos Tuimavave started in the centres, making his 150th career appearance.
Daryl Powell made a whole host of changes from the Castleford side that knocked Warrington out of the Challenge Cup semi-finals last Saturday.
Powell handed a Super League debut to academy winger Qareqare, whilst fellow academy player Brad Martin was called into the starting squad.
Danny Richardson partnered Steve Prescott Man of Steel Paul McShane in the halves, with Peter Mata’utia starting at fullback in the absence of Niall Evalds.
The Tigers made the best possible start to the match, scoring a try in the first set of the match. A shortside play sent debutante Qareqare down the left egde, burning both Faraimo and Connor for pace. Richardson missed the kick.
After a sloppy first 15 minutes from the visitors, they eventually found their flow and took the lead thanks to a converted Swift try following some marvellous offloads from Chris Satae, Ligi Sao and Fonua.
Castleford levelled the scores with three minutes to go until half-time, with Richardson knocking over a penalty goal after a high tackle from Fonua.
But Hull were keen to head into the interval with the advantage and they did so thanks to a Fonua try, his fourth in three games, supplied by some sensational skill from Connor. Sneyd added the extras to make it 12-6 to FC.
HALF-TIME: Tigers 6-12 Hull
Hull picked up from where they left off at the end of the first half and scored the first points of the second half within three minutes of the restart. The Black & Whites forced an overlap on the left edge and Connor had all the time in the world to pick the pass to Swift on the wing. Sneyd nailed the touchline conversion.
Tempers boiled over 15 minutes into the second half but it was the visitors who kept their composure and extended their lead when Fonua cut between the Tigers winger and centre to dot the ball down. Sneyd was once again on target from the touchline to make it 24-6.
Despite holding an 18-point advantage, Hull were made to earn their stripes in the final ten minutes after Sneyd was sent to the sin bin for a ruck infringement.
After weathering the initial storm, Hull were afforded some respite and enjoyed possession at the other end of the field courtesy of a well-measured Connor 40/20.
The fullback reaped the rewards of that kick, riding the tackle of two Castleford players before freeing the arm and scoring to the left of the sticks. Connor converted his own try.
Holmes scored a consolation try for the Tigers with just under four minutes on the clock. Some second phase play saw Hull stripped for numbers and the back-rower managed to find his way through the gap.
FULL-TIME: Tigers 12-30 Hull
Squads & Scorers
Hull: Connor, Faraimo, Tuimavave, Fonua, Swift, Reynolds, Sneyd, Satae, Houghton, Sao, Savelio, Ma’u, Lane
Hull Interchanges: Bowden, Fash, Johnstone, Scott
Hull Tries: Swift (2), Fonua (2), Connor
Hull Goals: Sneyd (4/4), Connor (1/1)
Tigers: Mata’utia, Qareqare, Shenton, Foster, Olpherts, McShane, Richardson, Martin, Milner, Griffin, Holmes, Sene-Lefao, Massey
Tigers Interchanges: Hepi, O’Neill, Peachey, Watts
Tigers Tries: Qareqare, Holmes
Tigers Goals: Richardson (2/3)