COACH Terry Matterson felt there were “lots of encouraging signs’ in Castleford’s 22-20 defeat against Hull FC in Sunday’s final pre-season match.
The Tigers looked set for victory when stand-off Rangi Chase (pictured) scored his second try six minutes from time to put them 20-16 up but they were pipped when former Tigers star Joe Westerman scored three minutes later on his Hull debut.
It was a dramatic finish to a keenly-fought match in which both teams fielded their strongest available teams.
Matterson said: “With all the new players coming in, there are some cohesion issues we have to deal with but there was some good stuff there.”
The Tigers led 8-6 at half-time thanks to tries by Joe Arundel and Kirk Dixon.
Hull snatched the lead for the first time with a superb try from ex-Tigers player Willie Manu in the 63rd minute before Chase darted in for his second to put Castleford back in front.
With three minutes left, Tom Briscoe’s lovely pass sent in Westerman and Danny Tickle added his third goal to give Hull the edge.
Scorers - Castleford: tries Chase (2), Arundel, Dixon; goals: Arundel, Dixon. Hull: tries: Whiting, Turner, Manu, Westerman; goals: Tickle (3).
Castleford Tigers: Richard Mathers; Kirk Dixon, Joe Arundel, Willie Isa, Nick Youngquest; Rangi Chase, Danny Orr; Nick Fozzard, Ryan Hudson, Craig Huby, Jonathan Walker, Steve Snitch, Brett Ferres. Subs: Dean Widders, Martin Aspinwall, Jordan Thompson, Paul Jackson, Oliver Holmes, Ryan McGoldrick, Jake Emmitt, Stuart Jones.
Hull; FC: Richard Whiting; Will Sharp, Willie Manu, Kirk Yeaman, Tom Briscoe; Jordan Turner, Sean Long; Mark O’Meley, Danny Houghton, Epalahame Lauaki, Joe Westerman, Danny Tickle, Craig Fitzgibbon. Subs: Lee Williams, Jack Aidans, Sam Moa, Liam Cunningham, Danny Washbrook, Ewan Dowes, Reece Lyne, Liam Kent.
Referee: Ben Thaler.