Hull FC suffered their second consecutive Super League defeat, going down 28-18 to Castleford in the winter sunshine.
Here are Five Things Up the Cream learned.
1.. Paea packing a punch
Let’s start with a positive. That was Mickey Paea’s best display since returning to the club. The big Tongan powerhouse was terrific all afternoon. He ran hard all game and put a couple of decent shots on too, with a deserved try coming his way late on. Shame it was nothing more than a consolation, but never the less a determined and powerful display from the big prop.
2.. Right side defence shocking
Hull’s right edge defence was poor at Castleford. Against Wigan in Wollongong it was dealt a big blow with Faraimo going off with concussion, and here it was without Sika Manu, but there can be no excuses.
The new boy Bureta must learn to stay on his wing and not drift in. It’s so frustrating, and was the result of a couple of soft tries. There doesn’t seem to be any understanding between the centre and wing as of yet, and that’s worrying. Teams will target that edge until we buck our ideas up. Hopefully the return of Manu will help us do just that.
3.. Sneyd good form continues
Marc Sneyd performed admirably against St George in Sydney last week and he carried that form into West Yorkshire. His try was top class and exactly the type of play we want to see from him on a regular basis, if he is to be considered an all-round half back.
There was an evident improvement in Sneyd’s running game towards the backend of last season and that’s definitely carried into this year. He is capable of taking on the line and making some breaks, and he looks like he has the confidence and ability to do so. He showed that on more than one occasion, beating several defenders to the line. it’s just a shame the mistakes creeped in elsewhere, as Hull, in particular Sneyd, looked good in the first half, well for 30 or so minutes at least.
4.. Flat second half
Hull looked like they would go into half time with a lead themselves, but a mistake just before the break proved costly, with Cas scoring seconds before the hooter. Mentally that must have had an effect, as the Black and Whites were sluggish to say the least after the break, after controlling the first half an hour of the game.
Cas hit them with two early second half tries and at 20-8 things were looking ominous. That spell ether side of the break ultimately lost FC the game, as errors and poor reads in defence were punished.
The reality is we got what we deserved. Guilty of an Aussie hangover, the Super League competition is ruthless, and if you continue to turn the ball over with handling mistakes, then you will unfortunately suffer the consequences.
Luckily it’s only February, meaning there’s plenty of opportunity to put things right.
5.. One to forget for Shaul
Jamie Shaul started his own Aussie fan club with his performance in Sydney last week but he was far from his best at Castleford. Rarely do we see the fullback drop high bombs under no pressure at all, and rarely do we see him stumble when dealing with a kick to the in goal. Unfortunately those two errors were pivotal, with Cas scoring on the back of both of them as they took control in the second half.
With defensive mistakes hindering his game, Shaul offered little in attack either and his pivot play will come into question again. It’s not the best in the comp by any stretch of the imagination and he had little impact coming out of the back of the wedge. In broken field he remains devastating but passing wise there is definitely room for improvement. Expecting a worldie to silence the doubters next week now. It wouldn’t surprise me either, as some of the things he’s capable of are just freakish, but on this occasion it was sadly a poor display.