Castleford overpowered by Hull FC

Jason Qareqare
Jason Qareqare, formerly of Kippax Welfare, scored on his Cas debut at the age of 17
Castleford (6) 12
Tries: Qareqare, Holmes Goals: Richardson 2
Hull FC (12) 30
Tries: Swift 2, Fonua 2, Connor Goals: Sneyd 4, Connor

Hull FC shook off the disappointment of missing out on a Wembley Challenge Cup final appearance with Super League victory over an under-par Castleford.

The visitors recovered from a first-minute score from Tigers debutant Jason Qareqare to lead at the break with Adam Swift and Mahe Fonua tries.

The same duo scored in the second half, as the left edge proved dominant.

Jake Connor’s try made sure, even with Hull down to 12, while Oli Holmes grabbed a consolation for the Tigers.

Alex Foster’s injury was a further blow for Cas, who have yet to win at home.

This was the perfect bounce-back for Hull after Saturday’s Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by St Helens, as despite the short turnaround they controlled the game for large periods and scored points at key times.

They rediscovered the defensive steel which had been a feature of their results so far this season, and in Mahe Fonua they had a sledgehammer of a three-quarter to create and score in his place.

He twice provided the final pass for Swift’s tries, the first after the forwards had split Cas through the middle, in between going through himself from a glorious offload by Connor, who kicked a 40-20 to set up the position for his late effort.

It could prove vital, too, as with Josh Griffin already side-lined with a ruptured Achilles the loss of Carlos Tuimavave and Cam Scott to injury will test Brett Hodgson’s squad depth.

Conversely for Cas and their boss Daryl Powell, the elation and emotion of Saturday’s victory over Warrington plus a raft of changes seemed to affect their performance.

It started brilliantly, with an early moment of excitement for 17-year-old Kippax Welfare amateur Qareqare, who burned off Connor with pace and swerve to score on his maiden appearance.

But, despite that and a noisy, partisan crowd, the Tigers were beaten for a third time in a row at their Wheldon Road home having left it too late to truly trouble the Airlie Birds defensive line – even when Marc Sneyd went to the sin bin for the last 10 minutes.

The loss of Foster on a stretcher following a tip tackle was a further disappointment, as they were beaten on the scoreboard in an at-times niggly and spat-filled contest.

Castleford: Mata’utia; Olpherts, Foster, Shenton, Qaraqare; Richardson, McShane; Martin, Milner, Griffin, Holmes,Sene-Lefao, Massey.

Interchanges: Watts, O’Neill, Hepi, Peachey.

Hull: Connor; Faraimo, Tuimavave, Fonua, Swift; Reynolds, Sneyd; Sao, Houghton, Satae, Savelio, Ma’u, Lane.

Interchanges: Bowden, Fash, Johnstone, Scott.

Referee: Robert Hicks (RFL)

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