Tigers climb into play-off places
Posted: Thursday 5th September 2019 - 10:00 PM
A hat-trick and rugby league masterclass from Jake Trueman took Cas into the play-off places with a huge 44-12 win over Hull.
On the week he received his call up to the Great Britain training squad, Trueman was the star of the show as the Tigers leapfrogged their opponents on the Betfred Super League table with a strong all-round performance at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The game was billed as the biggest match of the season before kick-off, with a win for the Tigers taking them above Hull and into the top-five with just one fixture of the regular campaign remaining, whilst the Black and Whites arrived in West Yorkshire knowing a victory of their own would secure their place in the play-offs and all but prevent Cas from qualifying given their inferior points difference to other rivals.
In truth, the contest was decided during a 20-minute blitz from Castleford at the start of the game. Having threatened with ball in hand from the opening whistle, they opened the scoring in the ninth minute on the back of a brilliant break from Jordan Rankin after Jamie Ellis and Liam Watts had worked the ball back inside around the ruck to set the full back free.
Rankin was eventually hauled down but on the following tackle in good territory the Tigers worked it back to the left for Cheyse Blair to take Trueman’s cut-out pass and stretch over for his first try for the Fords in the ninth minute.
Trueman then turned a promising start into an excellent one for Daryl Powell’s men a few minutes later. From the kick-off, Cas marched Hull back downfield via a Blair break through midfield and Rankin’s dangerous kick to the corner on the last tackle forced a repeat set. Again, in prime field position, they worked it wide to the left for Trueman to dummy through a gap for his side’s second score in quick succession, with two conversions from Ellis making it 12-0.
Hull briefly threatened a response as Ratu Naulago broke down their right flank only to be hauled down by Paul McShane and the Tigers hooked then stepped up at the other end of the field to initiate his side’s third try of the opening quarter.
It came down the same side once more, McShane using a stack of attacking options to the right to fool the Hull defence and finding Trueman slicing through on a short ball to the left of the ruck. Once clear of the FC forwards, the stand-off had enough pace to slide past Jamie Shaul and give Ellis an easy conversion from next to the posts, whilst the scrum half then notched a penalty to make it a four-score advantage.
The Black and Whites got on the scoreboard 10 minutes before the break when Masi Matongo crashed over underneath the posts to cut the gap to 20-6 and that was the way it remained at half-time as Cas defended valiantly to repel further attacks from the away side, the pick off the efforts seeing Trueman showcase his skills on the other side of the ball to hold up towering Hull prop Tevita Satae.
If the first half had been the Jake Trueman show, there was no sign of things letting up as the Man of the Match crossed for his hat-trick to give the Tigers the ideal start to the second half. It came from a Hull error coming away from their own line with Cas swooping on the loose ball to take advantage of space down the left as Trueman took Blair’s offload to jink over.
Daniel Smith then had a try chalked off as he fumbled McShane’s kick into the in-goal on the following set but Cas were piling on the pressure and Mike McMeeken was the next to have a half chance but the big back rower couldn’t take in a ricocheted kick from close range.
Hull had their moments with a lovely offload from Albert Kelly creating an opportunity and Jake Connor claiming a high kick but unable to find support, but the visitors looked even more up against it when Shaul was sin-binned after holding down Rankin from another superb break from the Tigers full back.
The advantage of an extra man initially didn’t tell for the home side as Jack Logan raced the length of the field against the run of play to cut the deficit to 26-12 but Trueman again showed his class with a well-weighted kick into the in-goal from 40 metres and a quick chase to force a drop out and end any hopes of some Hull momentum.
Cas landed the killer blow eight minutes from time as James Clare touched down out wide as Ellis and Rankin combined to carve an opening on the right wing, Ellis slotting the touchline conversion with ease.
Not to be overshadowed, Trueman then stepped up with another assist as his rehearsed inside kick found Rankin chasing through for a score in front of a jubilant Wheldon Road End, whilst Hull suffered their second sin-binning of the evening when Connor was sent for 10 minutes for dissent as the clock ticked down.
There was just enough time for Cas to put the icing on the cake as Matt Cook took Liam Watts’ tip on pass to charge through a gap and stretch over the line to the left of the sticks, Jamie Ellis maintaining his 100 per cent record with the boot to seal a fine win.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 44-12 Hull FC
Rankin, Clare, Mata’utia, Blair, Minikin, Trueman, Ellis, Watts, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey
Holmes, Milner, Cook, Smith
Tries: Trueman (3), Blair, Clare, Rankin, Cook
Conversions: Ellis (7/7)
Penalties: Ellis (1/1)
Shaul, Naulago, Connor, Tuimavave, Logan, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Paea, Manu, Griffin, Ellis
Bowden, Minichiello, Matongo, Satae
Tries: Matongo, Logan
Conversions: Sneyd (2/2)
Sin Bin: Shaul, Connor
*Match report by Matt Holden
**Photography by Melanie Allatt Photography
Golden Gamble Winner: 19/08678
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