Match Report: Castleford Tigers 44-12 Hull FC
Hull FC failed to continue their impressive away form in 2019 into their final regular season game on the road, going down 44-12 to Castleford Tigers on Thursday night.
It was disappointment for the Black & Whites at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle who’s play-offs hopes took a major dent with the defeat, as the Tigers dominated for long periods of the contest.
The hosts ran into an early 18-0 lead, and although Hull had spells of confidence in the contest, it wasn’t to be as the Tigers ran away with the scoreline in the closing stages.
The Black & Whites were boosted by the return of influential trio Albert Kelly, Ratu Naulago and Mark Minichiello from injury.
The trio replace Kieran Buchanan, Jordan Lane and Joe Westerman in the squad.
Daryl Powell has made just one change to his 19-man squad from the side that lost 4-0 to St Helens, with Matt Cook replacing Jacques O’Neill.
Castleford opened the scoring for the night in the first ten minutes of the game through Cheyse Blair. After an end-to-end battle in the early stages of the contest, the Tigers had the numbers over Hull on the left edge and the centre powered over. Ellis added the goal.
The hosts doubled their lead less than three minutes later when young half Jake Truman dummied his way over from close range, darting through a gap in the FC line. Ellis added his second.
Hull had their first real chance to go ahead when Ratu Naulago made a pacey break from well inside his own half, but Tigers hooker Paul McShane managed to tackle him into touch on his way to the line.
Instead it was the Tigers who had their third before the 20 minute mark, with Truman going over for his second, once again firing through a gap in the Hull line on his way to touching down. Ellis made it three with the boot.
Ellis added a penalty with 15 minutes left in the half to take Castleford’s total to twenty points.
However the Airlie Birds gave themselves a lifeline with ten minutes left on the clock before the break. Masi Matongo received the ball from Albert Kelly close to the sticks, and hit a great line to power over. Sneyd reduced the gap with the boot.
The Black & Whites had a huge chance to reduce the gap even further before the break as Tevita Satae made a charging tun towards the try-line, but he was held up in the final seconds before the break by some strong Tigers defence.
HALF-TIME: Castleford 20-6 Hull FC
Despite Hull’s pressure towards the end of the first-half, they couldn’t continue it at the start of the second as Jake Truman completed his hat-trick in the opening moments after the restart.
Jamie Shaul was sent to the sin-bin with 25 minutes left in the fame for a professional foul on Jordan Rankin.
But Hull did manage to get more points on the board with their second try of the game, with Jack Logan taking the ball ten metres out from his own try-line and running the length to score at the railway end of the ground. Sneyd kicked the goal.
The Tigers ended any hope of a Hull comeback though when James Clare dove over in the corner with ten minutes to play. Ellis continued his fine form with the boot.
Jordan Rankin put the icing on the cake scoring under the posts in the final minutes, as well as Matt Cook.
FULL-TIME: Castleford 44-12 Hull FC
Castleford: Jordan Rankin, James Clare, Peter Mata’utia, Cheyse Blair, Greg Minikin, Jake Truman, Jamie Ellis, Liam Watts, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Mike McMeeken, Nathan Massey.
Interchange: Oliver Holmes, Adam Milner, Matt Cook, Daniel Smith.
Hull FC: Jamie Shaul, Jack Logan, Carlos Tuimavave, Jake Connor, Ratu Naulago, Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Mickey Paea, Josh Griffin, Sika Manu, Gareth Ellis.
Interchange: Josh Bowden, Mark Minichiello, Masi Matongo, Tevita Satae.
Castleford Tries: Blair (9), Truman (12, 18, 42), Clare (70), Rankin (75), Cook (78)
Castleford Goals: Ellis (8/8)
Hull FC Tries: Matongo (30), Logan (56)
Hull FC Goals: Sneyd (2/2)