Hull FC and the Castleford Tigers took the opportunity of Cup Final weekend to re-arrange their round nine game in Super League at the KCOM Stadium.
The sides were seventh and eighth in the table, a win would take FC above the Huddersfield Giants into sixth place but a win for the Tigers wouldn’t be enough for them to jump above their opponents on the new percentage win system.
It has been a disappointing 2020 for both sides and they went into the game knowing that a loss would probably signal the end of their outside chances of making the play off places. It really was the last chance saloon and the drinks had been poured.
O’Brien spilled the ball on the first carry for the Tigers and two plays later Jake Connor found Ratu Naulago to take the pass and dab down over the line. Marc Sneyd added the touchline conversion for a 6-0 lead. The Tigers stunned by a full-blooded opening from FC.
Within two minutes the defensive line opened up for Andre Savelio to walk through for a four pointer. Sneyd was again accurate with the boot, the Airlie Birds 12-0 up after six minutes.
The third try came on twenty-two when Sneyd was the provider putting in a high kick for Jake Connor to leap with Michael Shenton and pick off the knocked forward ball to walk in under the sticks. Sneyd added the conversion and it was all too easy for the Black and Whites.
FC were giving the ball plenty of air for the fourth try as Bureta Faraimo went over on twenty-five as he took a Ma’u pass to score down the win. Sneyd added the touchline conversion for 24-0, the home side were demolishing the visitors.
Sneyd tried a cheeky fifty metre drop goal on the half time hooter but was way off the mark.
Fifty-four minutes of better Tigers defence was punctured with a length of the field try for Naulago as FC to turned defence into attack when a Richardson kick went to the winger’s hands and he ran ninety-five metres downfield unopposed to score under the sticks.
Tyla Hepi walloped Joe Cator off the ball as Tigers tempers started to fray.
Intricate passing from FC saw Danny Houghton get the sixth try of the afternoon as he went through a gap off a Savelio pass. Sneyd added the conversion from in front of the sticks for a 36-0 lead with eleven minutes left on the clock.
The Tigers avoided the nilling on seventy-three with Jacques O’Neill burrowing under the Hull defence to score. Danny Richardson added the conversion, but it was scant consolation.
Carlos Tuimavave danced his way to the line, leaving tacklers in his wake, to take Hull to forty points for the afternoon. Sneyd added his seventh conversion with a minute remaining and on the last play of the game Manu Ma’u chased down a Sneyd kick to the corner and grounded after the hooter. Jake Connor took the conversion and slotted it between the uprights from the touchline to seal a 48-6 win.
This was a day that Daryl Powell and his side will want to forget but it won’t be easy. On a day that they needed to perform to keep any semblance of top four hope alive, they capitulated to a Hull FC side who were made to look a million dollars. The Tigers season is over and the inquest can begin, but Hull FC keep the dream alive for another week.
Hull FC: Shaul, Naulago (2T), Tuimavave (T), Griffin, Faraimo (T), Connor (T, G), Sneyd (7G), Bowden, Johnstone, Sao, Ma’u (T), Savelio (T), Cator. Subs: Houghton (T), Satae, Fash, Brown.
Castleford Tigers: O’Brien, Graham, Shenton, Foster, Sanderson, Trueman, Richardson (G), Massey, McShane, Hepi, Blair, McMeeken, Milner. Subs: Millington, Sene-Lefeo, O’Neill (T), Cook.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths.
Half Time: 24-0.
Full Time: 48-6.
Venue: KCOM, Hull.