Hull FC lost out 18-26 to Castleford on Thursday night, despite a positive performance during their home opener.
Here are Up the Cream’s individual player reviews.
Fullback: Jamie Shaul – The best player on the pitch, Shaul was absolutely outstanding. As a running threat he was a danger all night. We all know about his athleticism, but pound for pound he’s up there with the strongest players too, as constant tackle busts show. The baby-faced assassin is a credit to our club. He’s such a talent and he gives everything for his hometown club every time he pulls on the jersey. Complete madness that there’s some folk out there who still criticise him.
Right Wing: Hakim Miloudi – Caught out a couple of times defensively but was enthusiastic with the ball. With Matty Dawson’s season ending injury, you’d imagine he’s going to get a lot of game time this season now. He needs to knuckle down now and concentrate, preferably with the aid of a pocket watch.
Right Centre: Carlos Tuimavave – Like his wing partner, Carlos was also guilty of one or two defensive lapses. Was good with the ball though.
Left Centre: Josh Griffin – Easing himself back into playing week-in-week-out after two tough injuries last year. Solid if not spectacular.
Left Wing: Bureta Faraimo – Makes metres in his sleep. Our Yankee island hopping winger put in another good display full of strong running. Contract talk is probably premature right now but he’d be one of the first we’d sign up for 2020 and beyond.
Half Back: Jake Connor – There’s not a more naturally gifted English-born rugby league player out there than Jake the Snake. Some of the things he does in a Hull FC shirt are just ridiculous. You never get tired of watching him. A great take for his try too. He’s a class act.
Half Back: Marc Sneyd – The kicking sensation didn’t do much wrong. He’s looking better with the ball in hand and linked well with Connor and Westerman. Impressed with what we’ve seen so far and they’ll be more to come. Sneeeeeeeeeeyydd.
Prop: Scott Taylor – Tag is not as explosive as he was during his first season at Hull FC but the minutes he plays are testament to him. Given our current predicament though he hasn’t got a choice. Good job he just puts his head down, gets on with it and drives us forward.
Hooker: Danny Houghton – Was better as a ball player than at hooker. He will retire a Hull FC legend but looking to the future it’s all about Jez Litten.
Prop: Masimbaashe Matongo – Up against a very good Castleford front row but didn’t disgrace himself by any stretch of the imagination. He needs to up his workload with the ball though.
Back Row: Sika Manu – Still capable of doing the hard yards, but he was better in the Derby last week. Would have scored if not for some outstanding Castleford defence.
Back Row: Mark Minichiello – Crabbed to effect. Never thought we’d say that.. The jury is still out though for 2019. Let’s hope he’s binging on spinach.
Loose Man: Joe Westerman – Fan boy obsessive and that performance showed why. Westerman is a top player, the closest thing out there to Sean O’Loughlin. His distribution was great but he also ran the ball in like every strong middle should. Great dummy for his try. A very welcome return.
Not yet home comforts. Image: Connor Young
From the interchange:
Prop: Mickey Paea – One decent offload. That’s more than he did last week.
Prop: Jordan Thompson – Struggled to dent holes in the Castleford defensive line.
Back Row: Jordan Lane – Despite a couple of tough carries it was another encouraging performance from Lane. Boothferry’s finest export rounded it off too with a neat try from an excellent break by Shaul.
Hooker: Jez Litten – His speed from the ruck caused Castleford some problems. Could he have backed himself though when he broke the line? Meh. A youngster with a prosperous future at our club.