Hull FC move up to third after an Albert Kelly hat-trick helped Hull defeat the Castleford Tigers.
The contest looked fairly poised before kick off and it started in that fashion, until Greg Minkin crossed for the first try of the evening.
Hull hit back, however the Tigers went into the break with a 14-4 advantage.
A second half try from Naulago as well as Albert Kelly recording his hat-trick put the game out of Castleford’s grasp.
The Tigers came into the match off the back of a home win last weekend and it looked as if they may do the same again when Minkin opened the scoring. A move to the right saw a gap in the Hull defence and the Tiger raced through.
The lead was short live as Jake Connor produced a sublime offload to Ratu Naulago, who grounded the ball acrobatically to level the scores after fifteen minutes played.
Peter Mata’utia regained the lead for Daryl Powell’s side thanks to two penalties, before a Kelly mistake was capitalised on by Junior Moor who strolled in for a try near the posts.
Hull started the second half strong with Naulago crossing for his second inside the opening ten minutes.
The Black and Whites took the lead as a result of a spectacular team try. Kelly offloaded from dummy half to Jake Connor, who broke through the defence and ran 50 metres before offloading back to Kelly who sprinted the remaining 40 metres to score.
Daryl Powell’s side refused to lie down as Greg Eden struck back. The Castleford winger reached out and was able to ground with his finger tips, leaving the score tied with 19 minutes remaining.
Kelly once again gave Hull the lead, when Marc Sneyd’s crossfield kick was batted down by Connor and Kelly was able to ground for his second.
Hull thought they’d scored moments later through Jamie Shaul, however it was denied by the video referee after numerous looks.
Castleford continued to pile on the pressure and nearly scored, but the pass found the ground, as a result Naulago surged away before passing inside to Kelly who completed his hat-trick.
Sneyd produced a drop goal from 20 metres out with four minutes to go to secure the two league points.
Hull Hitting Form
When watching Hull play often you would question which side you will see, but with three wins in a row Hull are starting to play their better style of rugby. With Sneyd, Kelly and Connor all poising a threat to sides, it will be difficult for sides to contain all three.
Connor Showed His Class
England international Jake Connor showed why he is selected for the national team with three try assists and it would have been four if Jamie Shaul’s try was not disallowed. A player who is versaitile for the Black and Whites. But having him in the centres allows Hull to threaten all over the field.
The Tigers have only won three of their last seven matches as they slip down the table. Powell’s side sit fifth, however if rivals Wakefield win at the weekend they will fall outside the play-off places. Without a clear flare player, the Tigers do not look as strong as previous seasons.
The Fijian winger signed on a one year trial and is yet to pen his future for next season. With a brace this evening, he is only expanding his reputation. Surely Hull need to sign him on a longer deal as he is a key asset to Lee Radford’s side.
Castleford Tigers 18
Tries: Minikin, Moors, Eden
Goals: Mata’utia 3
Hull FC 31
Tries: Naulago 2, Kelly 3
Goals: Sneyd 5
Drop Goals: Sneyd
Castleford Tigers: Mata’utia; Clare, Minikin, Blair, Eden; Trueman, Rankin; Watts, McShane, Smith, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey
Interchanges: Millington, Milner, Moors, Cook
Hull FC: Shaul; Naulago, Connor, Buchanan, Faraimo; Kelly, Sneyd; Green, Houghton, Paea, Minichiello, Hadley, Westerman
Interchanges: Taylor, Fash, Washbrook, Savelio