Hull FC made it three wins in a row in all comps with a 31-18 victory at Castleford on Thursday night.
Here are the Five Things Up the Cream learned.
1.. Away form best in the comp
Hull FC have won seven away games from ten now and that is currently the best away return in Super League.
The Airlie Birds have played with more freedom away from home and that naturally takes the pressure off.
That win at Castleford adds to fine victories at Wigan, Huddersfield, London, Salford, Catalans, and Warrington, with defeats only coming on the road three times.
Away form is a big reason to why Hull sit third in the table. On the contrary, the home form is the third worst in the comp, with just four wins from eight league games. That does look slightly better if you add the two cup wins though.
2.. Sniper Sneyd
Former greats are regularly talked about and cherished amongst Hull FC fans. We are watching a current one now in Marc Sneyd. He is just the tenth player in the clubs history to reach the milestone of 1000 Hull FC points. It’s a magnificent achievement.
Chasing records, Sneyd has been brilliant all season and keeps Hull ticking with both hand and boot. As composed as they come, he was involved in all the shifts whilst his kicking and game management are continuously superb.
Getting better with age, he’s the half back Hull FC craved for a decade, he delivers time and time again. It’s Marc Sneyd’s world and we’re just living in it.
3.. Jake the Snake, a Centre not half back?
Jake Connor was amongst the thick of the action in Castleford, setting up four of Hull’s five tries in a magnificent performance. He was brilliant, showing all the guile and class with the ball, and the irritating traits without it.
Luckily he has the talent to back up his mouth, and that was another fine audition for the centre vs half back argument. It’s the former where in this writers humble opinion his best exploits lie. At centre there’s less responsibility and he can run riot, like he did here. The only downside is he doesn’t see as much of the ball. It’s not a conundrum when Sneyd and Kelly are playing like that, but it’s something to think about for the long-term future.
There’s obviously a desire in Jake to play half back and Radford said as much post-match. Jake would still complain if he won the lottery, he’d want a bigger amount, but keeping him content is one of the most important things for the hierarchy. He’s a world class talent and there’s not many of them playing on this side of the world.
4.. A game of two halves
Castleford had the better of the first half and took a deserved lead into the break, but a rocket must have been delivered to Hull at half time as the second half performance was in stark contrast.
You can credit the home side for the opening forty, but Hull came out with a completely different mentality after the break. They weren’t conservative no more, and they played faster with more fluency and intent.
It paid off. Hull were much more expansive and posted 27 points to win the game. In a ‘four pointer’ or so to speak that was huge. In terms of getting a decent play-off finish its such an important victory, opening up a six point gap between Hull and sixth placed Wakefield.
5.. Right edge on fire
In the second half Hull regularly got the ball to the right edge and let Kelly, Connor and Ratu do their thing. As far as flanks go, that’s one of the best in the competition.
There are few better than the Snake and the thirteen try bang in form chicken nugget sensation when they’re on song like that, and then there’s the Chief himself, or Chef as he’s known amongst the group. What a find. He’s adaptable and he’s constantly learning.
Ratu’s speed makes him devastating, we’ve seen that in three consecutive games now, and playing outside of the phenomenal Kelly and Connor, who in turn got three tries and four assists, makes for a potentially lethal combination.