It was a night to forget for Hull FC as they suffered a 29-12 defeat to a resilient Castleford Tigers at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
A brace from Adam Swift wasn’t enough for Hull after Jason Qareqare crossed for a brace of his own in addition to tries from Greg Eden, Alex Foster and Jordan Turner to all-but secure survival for the Tigers.
Tony Smith made four changes from the 17 that faced Leeds Rhinos last week.
Hull’s Head Coach was able to welcome back club captain Carlos Tuimavave from a two-match suspension picked up in the Golden Point defeat at Wigan in the place of Liam Sutcliffe who missed out through a rib injury, with Cam Scott switching to left centre to accommodate Tuimavave in his usual spot on the right.
Smith was also able to bring Darnell McIntosh back into the fold after missing last week’s clash with the Rhinos through a hand injury, with Harvey Barron dropping out of the side.
Davy Litten returned from a minor back injury at fullback, with Jamie Shaul out of the team. Nick Staveley completed the 17, as Jake Clifford missed out through suspension, with Tex Hoy moving to halfback.
Castleford made no less than six changes from the team that was comprehensively beaten by Warrington last Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers were boosted by the return from injury of influential utility Jack Broadbent, who started at right centre.
The hosts also welcomed back Liam Watts from suspension, and Cain Robb returned to the Tigers after a brief spell at Swinton Lions.
Also returning to the lineup were young winger Jason Qareqare, Muizz Mustapha and Nathan Massey on his 250th appearance for Castleford, taking the place of new signings Charbel Tasipale and Billy Tsirikas, Jacob Miller, Sam Hall and George Lawler.
On a sweltering, humid night in West Yorkshire, Castleford had much the better of the first-half.
The Tigers opened the scoring after just three minutes before Hull had first use of the ball. The Tigers were awarded a penalty on half-way for a high tackle, and on the resulting set were over in the corner through Qareqare from a wide pass by Gareth Widdop.
Hull levelled things back up after a sustained spell of pressure on the Tigers line, Adam Swift crossing for the ninth game in a row from Davy Litten’s wide pass, with Darnell McIntosh making no mistake from the tee.
However, that was as good as things got for the Black & Whites, as the Tigers dominated the rest of the half.
They looked to have crossed twice but were saved by a forward pass and then a brilliant try-saving tackle from Davy Litten, before eventually crossing again through Qareqare’s second of the half, as he intercepted from a Hull scrum deep in Tigers territory.
Castleford extended their lead shortly afterwards. Blake Austin’s grubber kick causing carnage in the in goal area and Greg Eden dotting down before the dead ball line for the final score of the half.
HALF-TIME: Tigers 18-6 Hull
In a second-half with very little action, Castleford did enough to secure the two points.
They looked to have scored the opening points of the half, but a brilliant cover tackle stopped Jack Broadbent just shy of the line.
The Black & Whites had the next chance of the second stanza, but Swift couldn’t quite wriggle his way over to ground when surrounded by a number of Tigers defenders.
The turning point of the half came not long afterwards, as Davy Litten was sent to the sin bin.
Castleford broke down their left through the ever-dangerous Qareqare. Litten did well to get across to prevent the try, but in the process caught the Fijian flyer high and spent the next ten minutes in the sin bin.
Although Gareth Widdop missed the penalty goal, Austin edged the Tigers into a three-score lead with a drop-goal from close range.
The Tigers looked to have secured the win with just under 15 minutes to play, as Foster grounded a Greg Eden grubber kick just before heading over the dead ball line.
But Hull reduced the deficit to 11 points through Swift, with a smart scoot from dummy half after Litten’s quick play-the-ball.
The Tigers rounded off the scoring for the night as Jordan Turner scored on his final appearance at the Jungle after a grubber kick was allowed to bounce around the in goal area, with the former Black & White having the simplest of tasks to touchdown.
FULL-TIME: Tigers 29-12 Hull
Castleford Tigers: Gareth Widdop, Elliot Wallis, Jack Broadbent, Jordan Turner, Jason Qareqare, Gerg Eden, Blake Austin, Liam Watts, Jordan Johnstone, Muizz Mustapha, Kenny Edwards, Alex Mellor, Joe Westerman
Castleford Interchanges: Alex Foster, Cain Robb, George Griffin, Nathan Massey
18th Man: Brad Martin
Hull FC: Davy Litten, Darnell McIntosh, Carlos Tuimavave, Cam Scott, Adam Swift, Joe Lovodua, Tex Hoy, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Brad Fash, Jordan Lane, Andre Savelio, Joe Cator
Hull Interchanges: Brad Dwyer, Chris Satae, Jack Brown, Nick Staveley
18th Man: Zach Jebson
Castleford Tries: Jason Qareqare (2), Greg Eden, Alex Foster, Jordan Turner
Castleford Goals: Gareth Widdop (4/6), (DG)
Hull Tries: Adam Swift (2)
Hull Goals: Darnell McIntosh (2/2)
Attendance, in association with Garbutts: 7,947
Peregrine Property Man of the Match: Danny Houghton