Three tries in an eight-minute spell either side of half-time helped Castleford Tigers to an impressive 28-18 victory over likely title rivals Hull in front of a big crowd at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Daryl Powell’s men were trailing 8-0 in the first half before they came on strong to deservedly win their second game of the Betfred Super League season.
A tight first half saw the Tigers look sharp initially without being able to break down a strong Hull defence.
A Jamie Ellis grubber forced a goal-line drop-out, but the resulting set ended when Jake Webster was tackled just short of the line on a sixth tackle powerplay.
Hull’s first sight of a try came on 13 minutes when Bureta Faraimo took an Albert Kelly pass to charge clear down the right wing, but he was stopped just short of the line by a superb one-on-one tackle by home full-back Ben Roberts.
A Jamie Shaul grubber forced a drop-out soon after and Hull enjoyed a spell of pressure that resulted in them opening the scoring in the 20th minute as Marc Sneyd got the better of Ellis to charge over for a try he converted.
Cas suffered a blow at the same time as they lost winger Greg Eden to injury. He was replaced by Joe Wardle who went to centre with Michael Shenton going onto the left wing.
A penalty on 23 minutes was kicked by Sneyd and Hull had an 8-0 lead and were looking strong.
The Tigers stuck to their task, however, and put their first point on the board in the 29th minute when Greg Minikin did well to collect a dipping long pass by Ellis and did even better to squeeze over in the corner. Luke Gale was unable to goal, but at 8-4 Cas were back in it.
Webster went close as more home pressure followed and another move ended when Roberts lost the ball in a tackle close to the Hull line.
The Tigers did manage their second try just before half-time, though when Webster raced onto Ellis’s pass to charge over at speed for a try that was goaled by Gale.
Cas carried on the good work into the start of the second half as they hit their opponents with two tries in two minutes and some fantastic attacking rugby that reminded fans of last season.
First, Mike McMeeken was first to get to Ellis’s astute grubber. Then, Gale came up with a 40-20 kick and from the next set Shenton was sent over in the corner from a trademark left edge move. Gale kicked one of the conversions and the hosts were suddenly in the clear at 20-8.
Hull looked to hit back, but solid defence ensured Masi Matongo was held up over the line.
The visitors did score in the 55th minute, however, when Bureta Faraimo looked to have been tackled, but was able to get up to score in the corner, too far out for Sneyd to add the conversion.
It was soon back to the Tigers on top after the restart was allowed to bounce out over the back-line and another drop-out was forced by Paul McShane’s grubber.
Ellis’s kick was then knocked on over the line by Danny Washbrook and from the resulting scrum a swift left edge move ended with Shenton touching down again in the corner. With Gale adding the touchline conversion it was 26-12.
Three minutes later Shenton looked set for his hat-trick as he chased Gale’s kick to the corner, but knocked on over the line.
Hull quickly went down the other end and came up with their third try as Mickey Paea barged over from close range. Sneyd’s goal made it 26-18, but the visitors could not score again and it was Cas who had the final word with a Gale penalty.
Scorers - Castleford Tigers: Tries Minikin, Webster, McMeeken, Shenton 2; goals Gale 4. Hull: Tries Sneyd, Faraimo, Paea; goals Sneyd 3.
Castleford Tigers: Roberts; Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Eden; Ellis, Gale; Foster, McShane, Millington, Holmes, McMeeken, Milner. Subs: Moors, Massey, Sene-Lefao, Wardle.
Hull: Shaul; Faraimo, Connor, Griffin, Talanoa; Kelly, Sneyd, Paea, Hadley, Watts, Washbrook, Minichiello, Bowden. Subs: Tuimavave, Abdull, Fash, Matongo.
Referee: Chris Kendall.