KCOM Delight for the Tigers
Posted: Thursday 7th February 2019 - 9:42 PM
A gusty away performance made it two Super League wins from two for Castleford Tigers on Thursday night, as they defeated Hull FC 26-18 at the KCOM Stadium.
A brace from Michael Shenton, along with tries from James Clare, Jesse Sene-Lefao and Junior Moors did the business for the visitors, on a freezing East Yorkshire evening.
The game began with a trio of fairly lacklustre sets as the two sides attempted to get to grips with one another in the early exchanges. However, it didn’t take long for the Tigers to come up with something special, breaking the deadlock early.
It was Jake Trueman with the little piece of magic as he stepped off his left foot at the line, slipped a tackle and fed his skipper Shenton for the opening try of the evening.
Facing an early deficit, Hull came at the Tigers shortly after and threatened to get on terms. They were greeted with some stiff defence from the visitors though, halting their advances.
Instead, it was Castleford who struck again. This time, Sene-lefao got over after hunting down a loose ball close to the line. The four-pointer was sent upstairs to be tested by the video referee, but Ben Thaler saw nothing wrong with the back-rower’s grounding.
Facing the risk of the game getting away from them early, the Airlie Birds came at the Tigers with some intent following Sene-Lefao’s try, and eventually got over via a man who knows Castleford very well, Joe Westerman.
Then, it was Jake Connor’s turn to grab a try on his return to the Hull side, as he picked Sene-Lefao’s pocket in the middle of the field off the back of a Marc Sneyd kick.
The remainder of the first half was largely neck-and-neck, with both sides boasting half chances but neither managing anything clear cut, until the very final moment of the 40.
Right before the hooter, the Tigers were rewarded for some hard graft as they shipped the ball to the left and Shenton exploited a gap to score his second of the game. This gave Castleford a slender two-point lead as they entered the sheds.
Much like in the Catalans clash six days prior, the Tigers started the second half with some real intensity and they soon reaped the benefits of their effort. This time, it was the right edge that struck as Peter Mata’utia sprung the trap. The ball found its way to Clare, who dived in superbly in the corner.
After the early period of Castleford dominance, it looked as if the hosts were about to tie things up as Connor sliced through a gap and planted the ball down. However, on this occasion the video referee turned the effort down, due to an obstruction in the build-up.
Following the let-off, the Tigers attempted to once again get a firm grip on the contest and they did just that, as Moors picked up a further four points, dropping on a delightful little dummy half kick from Paul McShane.
The clash was far from over though, as a few moments later Jamie Shaul broke through a couple of weak challenges and set Jordan Lane free for a score, narrowing the deficit to six.
Things were getting relatively tense as we entered the final quarter, so a smart decision was taken for Jordan Rankin to boot a penalty when the opportunity arose.
Regardless, we were set for a titanic finish with Connor playing orchestrator for the black and whites and the Tigers’ defence scrambling.
Eight points to the good, the Tigers were somewhat careless inside the last ten minutes when they should have been managing the clock and killing off the contest. However, each time Hull received the ball back, the Castleford defence was up to the task. A sensational tackle from Alex Foster on a rampaging Bureta Faraimo was a highlight, as the back-rower bundled him into touch.
FC simply had no answer, as Castleford made it two wins from two and, at least in the short term, went to the top of the Betfred Super League.
Full Time: Hull FC 18-26 Castleford Tigers
Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Rankin, Watts, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, Foster, McMeeken
Milner, Moors, Roberts, Cook
Tries: Shenton (2), Sene-Lefao, Clare, Moors
Conversions: McShane (2/5)
Penalty: Rankin (1/1)
Shaul, Faraimo, Tuimavave, Griffin, Miloudi, Connor, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Matongo, Minichiello, Manu, Westerman
Thompson, Lane, Paea, Litten
Tries: Westerman, Connor, Lane
Conversions: Sneyd (3/3)
*Match report by Ross Williams
*Photo courtesy of Melanie Allatt Photography
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