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Airlie Birds soar at last
Rangi Chase impresses in a losing cause
Hull headed into the play-offs next week with a 36-10 victory over Castleford that owed everything to a dramatically improved second-half display.
A try each for Willie Manu and Tom Briscoe and a score for Castleford's Jordan Thompson were brief highlights of a scrappy first-half that saw little between two under-performing sides.
Buoyed by an early second-half score from Richard Horne, Hull then proceeded to justify their top-six billing, running away with the second-half thanks to three further tries.
Tongan forward Manu led Hull out and it was the second-row who opened the scoring with his drop of the shoulder and dummy enough to open a hole in the Castleford defence after taking Aaron Heremaia's well-timed pass.
Hull scored 70 unanswered points against Bradford last week, but any thoughts of a similar result looked to be dispelled as the Tigers immediately showed they had more bite to their attack with their first real foray at the Hull line.
Thompson probed at the Hull defence with not much luck, but after seeing the ball switch from one side of the field and back again the centre was able to finish second time in some style in the corner.
With Hull's discipline problems once again rearing their ugly head, Castleford were allowed to get on the front foot and the club preparing to head off on their holidays rather than into the play-offs were looking the more impressive.
In his last-ever Super League game Danny Orr was turning back the clock as he pulled the strings, and joined by half-back partner Chase the duo were a constant threat early on.
Playing in an off-the-cuff style that suited Rangi Chase down to the ground, the half-back was clearly enjoying himself.
But despite their territorial advantage the Castleford attack found the Hull defence in miserly mood and having soaked up the pressure it was the hosts who regained the lead just before half-time.
Heremaia's grubber kick to the corner was missed by team-mate Kirk Yeaman and Tigers winger Ben Blackmore, allowing Briscoe to gather the ball for a simple score. A six-point advantage for Hull then became eight on the half-time hooter as Jamie Foster kicked a penalty from in front of the posts.
A dour first-half gave way to an entertaining second period, with Brett Seymour's clever inside pass putting Hull full-back Horne over. The duo then teamed up again to cut open the Castleford defence, this time putting hooker Danny Houghton through for a try under the posts.
Former Australian Test prop Mark O'Meley took three defenders over the try line with him to help Hull bring up the 30 point mark, but to their credit the Tigers would not roll over.
Chase's good work set Oliver Holmes up for a second score of the game for the Tigers and in the final 15 minutes they could have scored again.
But the final word went to Hull, who closed the scoring through young prop Chris Green.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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