Tigers Seal Top 4 Finish
Posted: Friday 7th September 2018 - 10:19 PM
Castleford Tigers made it three Super 8s wins on the bounce on Friday night, defeating Hull FC 28-8 at the KCOM Stadium
It was a solid and mostly professional display from the Tigers, who will have been wary of a response from a Hull side that were embarrassed in the previous round. The win leaves Castleford very much in the thick of the top four, as the semi-finals approach.
As expected on recent form, it was the Tigers who set the early tempo with Luke Gale, in just his second game back from long-term injury, marshalling the troops around the park.
A couple of smart touches early on provided chances for Castleford but the hosts were fairly resilient in defence and got the better of a few decisions from the official in the initial goings.
The Tigers were stung after a quarter of an hour as Oliver Holmes – who’s been in fine form for the black and amber of late – was forced to leave the field with a hamstring injury. However, Castleford responded well and soon found themselves on the board as Mike McMeeken used his footwork to prod a ricocheted ball over the try line and touch down.
Some coach-killing errors from Hull really hindered the hosts in the middle stages of the half, and the Tigers were eager to capitalise. A training ground move to the right edge almost saw Ben Roberts grab the game’s second try, had he been able to plant the ball over the whitewash.
That effort wasn’t to be, but Castleford didn’t have to wait long as, a couple of sets later, Junior Moors crashed over from short range, leaving a heap of Hull defenders in his wake.
The Airlie Birds threw plenty at the Tigers’ line before the break but their lack of clinical edge hurt them. In the end, a wayward pass ended in disaster for the hosts as it bounced off an unaware Michael Shenton, straight into the open arms of Greg Eden. With 80 yards of open field ahead of the flying winger, there was only ever going to be one result.
Some indiscipline from Castleford left them on a team warning at the hooter, but they’d have taken it considering they entered the sheds three tries to the good.
With the deficit as it was, it was clear that the first try of the second period was going to be vital. A score for Hull would have put the wind back in their sails, but the old faithful was swiftly silenced as the Tigers struck inside three minutes of the half. Eden came up with it after receiving a beauty of an assist from Peter Mata’utia.
At 24-0, the Tigers were very much in the driving seat and they became even more comfortable a few moments later as James Clare benefitted from some smart hands and touched down brilliantly in the corner. Truly, one of the better finishes of the season.
The prospect of a nilling was beckoning as we approached the final quarter, but Hull had something to say about that as Carlos Tuimavave finally found his way over for the black and whites.
Then, Hull added a second as Hakim Miloudi broke from deep and beat an ever-chasing Paul McShane to the line.
Buoyed by their two efforts, Hull arguably finished the game on top, but the damage had already been done and the clock was very much in the Tigers’ favour.
Time expired, leaving the Tigers with a happy trip back up the M62 with two points in the bag.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 28-8 Hull FC
Mata’utia, Clare, Wardle, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Gale, Watts, McShane, Millington, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey
Roberts, Moors, Milner, Clark
Tries: McMeeken, Moors, Eden (2), Clare
Conversions: Gale (4/5)
Shaul, Faraimo, Scott, Tuimavave, Talanoa, Harris, Miloudi, Taylor, Houghton, Matongo, Hadley, Washbrook, Manu
Fash, Litten, Lane, Bienek
Tries: Tuimavave, Miloudi
Conversions: Faraimo (0/2)
*Match Report by Ross Williams
*Photo Courtesy of Craig Milner