Super League Round Seven – 27th March – Castleford 20 Hull 14 – Wheldon Road (aka the Mind-Yer-Toes Jungle)
Hull made no secret of their interest in a certain Luke Gale last year, but after ditching such interest for players elsewhere you’d imagine he’d save his best performances for the Black and Whites – and such a theory proved a reality.
The former London and Bradford half back scored twice in a man-of-the-match performance as Castleford made it back-to-back wins for the first time this season with a 20-14 success over Hull FC at the Mind-Yer-Toes Jungle.
Having endured a mixed start to the season that saw them lose their first three matches the Tigers have found some form in recent weeks – recording their third successive home victory.
Defences came out on top in a first half which saw just one try apiece, with Tom Lineham brilliantly cancelling out Gale’s opener. Cas with all the field position found Hull hard to come by, as a serious of impressive goal-line defence ensured the hosts came out with nothing.
Rankin stopped a runaway Jordan Tansey just short of the line, and James Clare was barged into touch by pacey Aussie three-quarter Steve Michaels.
Though just like at Wigan a fortnight ago, Hull adversities came back to haunt them, and after defending with vigour once more a mistake proved crucial – resulting in an opposition try. A sickening feeling.
On a vibrant night there was a milestone for Castleford prop Andy Lynch, who took to the field for his 450th career appearance against one of his former clubs. Some achievement for the old timer.
It was the big props bust through the middle that brought about Gale’s second try – and by doing so stretched Castleford’s lead. Though the visitors response was quick, and another acclaiming of a personal milestone – Tom Lineham on his 50th apperance for Hull – was on hand to finish expertly in the corner – once again giving goal-kicker Marc Sneyd the toughest of conversions.
Lineham having beaten fiery winger Justin Carney twice already was to get on the end of the full force of the powerful winger, as the Aussie gained some revenge with a fierce hand off to score one himself. But Hull, whose coach Lee Radford missed the trip through illness, refused to lie down and hit the front as Lineham scored once more to complete his hat-trick.
Marc Sneyd having missed twice previously added the extras, as Hull took a two point lead. Though not for the first time this season game-know how and awareness was lacking and James Clare eased Castleford’s nerves after benefiting from Fetuli Talanoa’s misjudgement.
Down by six points Hull had the opportunities to get something from the game, but Cas held them out. More troublesome for the visitors big money signing Marc Sneyd limped off with an ankle injury – as did Chris Green with a bang to the knee.
It was tough to take for the Black and Whites who once again fail to kick on from a previous victory – something itself that has been a massive worry over the past fourteen months.
Castleford Starting XIII: 22. Jordan Tansey, 2. James Clare, 26. Ashley Gibson, 4. Michael Shenton, 5. Justin Carney, 21. Liam Finn, 7. Luke Gale, 10. Grant Millington, 9. Adam Milner, 16. Junior Moors, 11. Oliver Holmers, 3. Jake Webster, 19. Scott Wheeldon. Interchange: 6. Ben Roberts, 8. Andy Lynch, 24. Mike McMeeken, 25. Steve Crossley.
Cas Tries: Gale 2, Carney, Clare. Goals; Gale 2/4
Hull Starting XIII: 32. Jordan Rankin, 2. Tom Lineham, 19. Steve Michaels, 24. Jack Logan, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 6. Leon Pryce, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Mickey Paea, 9. Danny Houghton, 10. Liam Watts, 16. Jordan Thompson, 12. Mark Minichiello, 13. Joe Westerman. Interchange: 17. Dean Hadley, 15. Chris Green, 22. Josh Bowden, 34. Stuart Howarth.
Hull Tries: Lineham 3. Goals: Sneyd 1/3
Referee: Matt Thomason