Super start to Super 8s for Castleford against leaders

Greg Minikin, scored Castleford's first try at Hull.
Greg Minikin, scored Castleford's first try at Hull.

Castleford Tigers made a storming start to the Super 8s as they left league leaders shield winners Hull FC stunned at the KCOM Stadium.

A brilliant first half display saw Daryl Powell’s men open up a 20-point lead and they went onto enjoy a 30-16 victory - their second of the year at the ground.

Hull hit back in the final quarter, but the Tigers were fully deserving of their win which strengthens their sixth place in the table and keeps alive their chances of a top four finish.

Cas enjoyed a perfect first half when they scored four unanswered tries and played rugby league of the highest class against the team who have just finished top of the table at the end of the regular season.

They were ahead from the third minute when Denny Solomona raced 70 metres downfield after catching the ball near his own line then a few plays later came up with a great offload to Greg Minikin who finished with equal class.

The expected Hull reply did not come and the Tigers were back in attack as Luke Dorn was held up over the line. From the following play they moved the ball superbly to the right and Rangi Chase’s delayed pass gave Ben Crooks the chance to send Ryan Hampshire over for the second try, with Gale converting from the touchline.

Solomona almost scored again when he leaped to take a Gale high kick and knocked the ball back only to be penalised for taking out his opposite number in the air.

Cas did have their third try on 23 minutes when an amazing sixth tackle play when they kept the ball alive several times moving the ball to the right then back to the left. Minikin appeared to have been stopped just short of the line, but got the ball away and there to scoop it up and cross the line was Gale.

Mark Sneyd was denied a reply for Hull when the video referee ruled that team-mate Carlos Tuimavave had been offside chasing up a high kick.

And within seconds the Tigers scored again as Dorn produced a trademark dummy and race over for another fine try that was goaled by Gale to make it 20-0 after 28 minutes.

Hull briefly threatened only for Jordan Thompson to drop the ball near the line and it was Cas who went closest to another score right on half-time with Paul McShane held up over the line.

Hull looked to improve their efforts after the break, but initially the visitors’ defence stayed strong and after smart defence by Gale youngster Minikin went on another charge down field before Oliver Holmes backed up and took some catching.

Further pressure followed and Hampshire went over in the corner following a brilliant offload by Chase. The conversion attempt by Gale hit the post, but the Tigers were 24-0 ahead.

Hull almost replied straight from the restart when they were lucky to get the ball back despite appearing to knock-on and Steve Michaels squeezed in at the corner only to have his effort disallowed by the video referee as he put a foot in touch under Solomona’s tackle.

The hosts did finally register a score on 62 minutes as Michaels this time made no mistake to go cross the line.

After a drop-out then a 40-20 kick by Danny Houghton they exerted more pressure and the Cas defence cracked again when Danny Washbrook plunged over from close range.

A third try in 11 minutes had Hull dreaming of a comeback as Jamie Shaul backed up Frank Pritchard’s break and Marc Sneyd added his third goal.

But they were unable to score again and Adam Milner put the icing on the cake for the Tigers in the last minute, going over after collecting a play the ball near the home line. Gale’s third conversion made the final score 30-16.

Scorers - Hull: Tries Michaels, Washbrook, Shaul; goals Sneyd 2. Castleford: Tries Minikin, Hampshire 2, Gale, Dorn, Milner; goals Gale 3.

Hull FC: Shaul; Michaels, Tuimavave, Yeaman, Naughton; Abdull, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton, Bowden, Manu, Pritchard, Ellis. Subs: Minichiello, Green, Thompson, Washbrook.

Castleford Tigers: Dorn; Hampshire, Crooks, Minikin, Solomona; Chase, Gale; Springer, Milner, Patrick, O Holmes, Savelio, Moors. Subs: Jewitt, McShane, Cook, Millington.

Referee: Jack Smith.

Half-time: 0-20.

Attendance: 9,936.