Playing at home, yes actual home, Hull FC smashed Castleford 48-6 on Sunday afternoon to pick up their eighth Super League win of the season.
Travelling to the other side of the Pennines for the majority of project restart, it’s been bloody ages since the Airlie Birds’ last outing at the KCOM Stadium. What transpired that night doesn’t bear thinking about but after seven months that started in lockdown and ended on the road, some home comforts were most welcome. It wasn’t quite a homecoming, the farcical situation we find ourselves in with no fans in grounds pays testament to that, but none the less it was a solid afternoons work with Hull racking up their biggest win of the season by far.
A complete contrast then to the result on that fateful March night, and a different world away to the attendances of the three actual home games before it. In fact this was the first time in seventeen years that the KCOM stadium had its doors closed for a Hull FC match with a packed out lower stadium bowl seeming a lifetime away right now. It’s bloody depressing – especially after a performance where every fan both young and old would have loved to have been there. Boris, pull your finger out.
However, for all the piss-takes for us supporters this year including a streaming service that is certainly dubious in working for all of Hull’s 8,500 or so members; it was an outstanding team display from the boys in Black and White. Andre Savelio will take many plaudits and rightly so, but from Joe Cator to Carlos Tuimavave, to Josh Griffin to Jake Connor, the whole side were sublime.
It was a complete display. Yardage was never hard to come by but Hull were also slick with ball in hand and had no difficulty in posting points. Eight tries followed as Castleford collapsed once again as their own form goes from bad to worse. Still take nothing away from Hull. They executed to perfection and the tries kept coming. Whether through Savelio storming through the line or Ratu Naulago exhibiting his lethal speed, it was refreshing to see the side not let up, with the forty point total topped for the first time this year.
The tries came from all over the field too, through Bureta Faraimo who after waiting all season to get off the mark now has two in two games, to Danny Houghton and Manu Ma’u getting over on their return to the field. Also the other side of the game was pleasing, and whilst Castleford threw little at Hull, to only concede the one try late on given how bad the defence has been this season was as equally pleasing. To think it only came through Savelio’s preference for a bit of shithousery and not leaky defence too. The big fella was everywhere. What a display.
Sure it was a good win for Hull, their third in four games, but it’s nothing to get carried away with. The opposition was quite frankly shocking and it does say a lot that the only sides Hull have beaten post-lockdown are placed below them in the table. Still this was the best we’ve seen since round one at Headingley and definitely welcome. They all count.
After an almost perfect first half, the second was guilty of becoming a bit wayward before a late flourish of points, but who cares. That can be contributed by Jamie Shaul going off and Hull showing a precaution with Griffin, with Connor going to fullback and once again hardly putting a foot wrong.
Castleford after their ten day rest were far from full tilt either and handed out a debut to Hull-born Brad Graham. They just weren’t at the races from minute one. Hull were. There was a confidence about them and a desire to play some rugby. Long may it continue especially with some tougher opponents coming that will certainly give a measure of the side and perhaps see the pitchforks return. Obviously the top four is a bridge too far for this season, but that doesn’t stop this current crop of players from building for the next and it’ll say a lot about them in how they cope with Catalans on Thursday night.
With just the four games left now it’ll soon be over but 2021 will be here before we know it, yet with the news on Sunday evening from the RFL that it could be April before fans return to grounds, we can’t say we’re looking forward to it. It’s all just absolute bollocks and whilst the indoor London Palladium is packed to the rafters with people attending question and answer sessions with Arsene bloody Wenger, you’ll forgive us for continuing to bang this drum.
Memberships are due for renewal soon and with rugby league a working class sport in some of the most hardworking communities in the North of England who are not blessed with an abundance of cash, it’s imperative the government gets fans back in as soon as possible. It’s arguably more important than what transpires on the field over the next month, and it’s definitely more important than funding a Tory supporting millionaire that owns a said London indoor establishment…
Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jamie Shaul, 33. Ratu Naulago, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 4. Josh Griffin, 2. Bureta Faraimo, 6. Jake Connor, 7. Marc Sneyd, 22. Josh Bowden, 16. Jordan Johnstone, 13. Ligi Sao, 23. Andre Savelio, 12. Manu Ma’u, 15. Joe Cator. Interchange: 9. Danny Houghton, 10. Chris Satae, 20. Brad Fash, 30. Jack Brown.
Hull Tries: Naulago 2, Savelio, Connor, Faraimo, Houghton, Tuimavave, Ma’u. Goals: Sneyd 7/7, Connor 1/1
Castleford Starting XIII: Gareth O’Brien, Jack Sanderson, Alex Foster, 4. Michael Shenton, Brad Graham, 6. Jake Trueman, 7. Danny Richardson, Tyla Hepi, 9. Paul McShane, Nathan Massey, Mike McMeeken, Cheyse Blair, 13. Adam Milner. Interchange: Grant Millington, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Jacques O’Neill, Matt Cook.
Castleford Tries: O’Neill. Goals: Richardson 1/1
Scoring System: 6-0 (Naulago), 12-0 (Savelio), 18-0 (Connor), 24-0 (Faraimo), HT, 30-0 (Naulago), 36-0 (Houghton), 36-6 (O’Neills), 42-6 (Tuimavave), 48-6 (Ma’u).
Attendance: Behind closed doors
Referee: Marcus Griffith