Michael Shenton scores twice for Castleford as they extend Hull’s winless run in Super League to 13 matches.
Castleford, fresh off an opening day victory, looked like they would repeat the feat early on when their captain Michael Shenton opened the scoring after only five minutes. Castleford moved the ball to the left as Jake Trueman broke clear after shrugging off Hakim Milloudi before playing in Shenton.
The Tigers extended their lead when hooker Paul McShane’s kick behind the defence ricocheted off the Hull defenders before falling into the path of Jesse Sene-Lefao over the line. The Tigers led 10-0 after McShane failed to convert.
However, Hull struck back after former Castleford man, Joe Westerman attacked the line and fooled defenders with a dummy to narrow the gap to four inside the opening twenty minutes.
The Black and Whites then led for the first time after a cross field kick was plucked out of the air by an unchallenged Jake Connor before touching down near the stick, allowing Marc Sneyd to give Hull the advantage.
With the final play of the half Shenton scored his second. Castleford had dragged the Hull defence allowing huge gaps which Shenton capitalised on after receiving the pass from former Hull player Jordan Rankin to give Castleford a 14-12 half time advantage.
The second half continued in similar fashion with the Tigers opening the scoring within the opening 10 minutes. Once again Castleford had too many men over on the right hand side for the Hull defence and despite Bureta Fariamo’s best efforts, James Clare acrobatically finished in the corner to extend the lead back to six.
Hull thought they had struck back after Connor found a hole in the Castleford defence, however video referee Ben Thaler deemed that Joe Westerman had obstructed Liam Watts in the process. In the set that followed Castleford went up the other end of the pitch and scored once again a McShane grubber kick behind the defence proved valuable as this time Junior Moors touched down giving the Tigers an 12 point advantage with 25 minutes remaining.
Once again Connor played a pivotal role as he played Jamie Shaul through a gap in the Castleford defence just inside the Hull half as Shaul strided towards the line before playing in Jordan Lane who scored his first try at the KCOM leaving Hull six behind on the scoreboard with 20 minutes to play.
McShane found the ball to be stripped and the resulting penalty was converted by Rankin to leave Castleford 26-18 in front with 18 minutes left. Despite Hull’s best effort they were unable to penetrate a tough Castleford side who moved to the top of the table after an 100% start to the season.
Pressure mounting on Radford
After another defeat pressure will begin to mount of FC coach Lee Radford. Despite only playing two matches this season the pressure will be building after a 13th successive defeat in Super League. Without a win since June, the Black and Whites will be desperate for a first win of the season and to stop the run. Hull have no fixture next week, however they face a trip to the DW to face Wigan who have the World Club Challenge next weekend.
McShane hugely important
Castleford hooker Paul McShane impressed again with him playing a key role including assisting tries for Jesse Sene-Lefao and Junior Moors. He has proved to be a real star for Castleford in both attack and defence. Fans may have been worried when he went down clutching his knee with just under 20 minutes to play, however he carried on suggesting he is fine and won’t be joining Luke Gale on the sidelines.
Connor strengthening Hull attack
England international Jake Connor was sorely missed in round one after receiving a one match suspension during a pre-season match, but he return with a good performance on a losing side. Connor was involved in all three tries including scoring in the first half. It will be interesting to see where Radford will play him once Albert Kelly returns, but currently he looks as if he’s in similar form to last year in that stand-off role.
Trip to the capital next for Castleford
Castleford will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to three next time out as they make the trip down to Ealing to face the London Broncos. Castleford will go there with confidence and their attacking brand of rugby should suit the artificial surface against the newly promoted side. Daryl Powell’s side will be especially weary as their rivals, Wakefield Trinity were turned over in their first match of the season at the Trailfinders Stadium.
Hull FC 18
Tries: Westerman, Connor, Lane
Goals: Sneyd 3
Drop Goals: n/a
Castleford Tigers 26
Tries: Shenton 2, Sene-Lefao, Clare, Moors
Goals: McShane 2, Rankin
Drop Goals: n/a
Hull FC: Shaul, Milloudi, Tuimavave, Griffin, Faraimo, Connor, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Matongo, Manu, Minichello, Westerman
Interchanges: Lane, Litten, Paea, Thompson
Castleford Tigers: Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Rankin, Watts, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, Foster, Massey
Interchanges: Milner, Moors, Roberts, Clark