With nothing to play for, and big games on the horizon, coach Powell opted to rest a number of his stars as Hull FC visited the Mend-A-Hose Jungle to take on his all-conquering table-topping side.
Hull would have been delighted at the Tigers team sheet as they knew that a draw would be enough to secure them third spot and leave Wigan needing to do the impossible on Saturday afternoon and beat Wakefield by ninety-one clear points to get themselves above Saints.
A loss for FC would give tomorrows game a totally different complexion as a win of any description for the Warriors would be enough for them to steal fourth spot after entering the Super Eights in seventh.
After absorbing early Castleford pressure it was Hull FC who took the lead on eight minutes when a high kick was tapped back went through four pairs of hands before finding Albert Kelly to dive over by the left upright. Marc Sneyd kicked the conversion for a 6-0 lead and the Tigers had been punished on the break.
Within two minutes Jake Connor scored the Airlie Birds second when he took a Kelly bomb to spin out of a tackle and ground. Sneyd hit the right upright with his conversion attempt leaving his side with a 10-0 lead.
Danny Houghton seemed to be next on the try sheet for Hull but after appearing to lose the ball in the act of scoring the decision was sent to the video referee as a ‘NO TRY’ and wasn’t overruled. Houghton did get his try on twenty-five when he reacted first to a Sneyd grubber under the sticks to collect the ball and ground under the sticks in one movement. Sneyd kicked the conversion for 14-0 and FC were already close to securing a trip to Headingley next Friday night.
The Tigers opened their account on twenty-eight when Tuoyo Egodo was on the overlap to take a Tom Holmes pass to dive in at the corner. Paul McShane had the kicking duties in the absence of Luke Gale and he kicked the extras from the touchline.
The thirty-third minute saw a superb Jamie Shaul solo try as he broke from his own forty metre line and went sixty, zig-zagging through the Tigers defence to go over. Sneyd added the two for 22-6.
A minute from the interval Jake Connor grabbed his second of the night sliding over under the tackle of two Tigers defenders. Sneyd added the conversion as the last action of the half for a 28-6 lead to the visitors.
Three minutes after the restart and Egodo got his second, on his debut, when he again found himself on the overlap to take a pass on the Hull twenty and round behind the defence to score. McShane added the two pointer for 12-28.
Egodo completed his hat-trick on forty-seven when he was at the end of a passing move to dive over in the corner. When McShane missed the conversion his side were back within two converted tries at 16-28.
Shaul dropped a high kick on fifty minutes but after defending their line well FC moved downfield and Connor grabbed his hat-trick on fifty-two after taking a Kelly short pass to go through a gap. Sneyd added the conversion for 34-16.
An illegal tackle on Kelly gave Sneyd a shot at a penalty goal from thirty metres which he took for a twenty-point lead. Two minutes later and Carlos Tuimavave took a Talanoa pass to run the angle and score Hulls seventh try of the night by the uprights. Sneyd was again accurate with the boot and it was turning into a trouncing.
Shaul scored on sixty-nine, ripping through the Tigers defence after taking a Scott Taylor pass to go twenty to score. Sneyd kicked his eighth goal of the night for 48-16.
Hull FC could only play the side that Castleford put in front of them and that is what they did. It was a profesional demolition of an understrength side whch now guarantees them third spot and a trip to Headingley next Friday to take on the Rhinos for a place at Old Trafford.
For the Tigers this was totally meaningless and they will wait to turn on the classy Cas style against St Helens, or should Wigan perform a miracle tomorrow, the Warriors.
Tigers: Eden, Hitchcox, Monaghan, Webster, Egodo (3T), Holmes, Trueman, Cook, McShane (2G), Springer, Foster, McMeeken, Larroyer. Subs: Lynch, Sene-Lefeo, Roberts, Maher.
FC: Shaul (2T), Fonua, Connor (3T), Tuimavave (T), Talanoa, Kelly (T), Sneyd (8G), Taylor, Houghton (T), Watts, Minichiello, Manu, Ellis. Subs: Bowden, Fash, Green, Washbrook.
Referee: Ben Thaler.