Hull FC 28-12 Castleford: Jake Connor shines in Coral Challenge Cup win over Tigers
Last Updated: 13/05/19 7:24pm
Hull FC booked their place in the Coral Challenge Cup quarter-finals after a comfortable 28-12 victory over Castleford Tigers at the KCOM Stadium.
Marc Sneyd returned from injury to run the show as he set up one try for Albert Kelly and also kicked 12 points as Hull bounced back from Sunday's disappointing home defeat by Catalans Dragons in Super League.
But Peter Mata'utia twice kicked out on the full in the first half and Hull punished him both times by scoring converted tries as the Tigers failed to beat Hull for the third time in as many attempts in this competition.
Hull's tries came from Jake Connor, Bureta Faraimo, Kelly and Mark Minichiello.
Castleford scored tries in each half through James Clare and Cory Aston with Mata'utia adding a conversion after opening the scoring with an early penalty.
Hull thought they had gone ahead with a little over three minutes on the clock as Sneyd's angled high kick was knocked back and fed out to Jack Logan, but he knocked on as he went to slide over the try line.
Instead it was Castleford who opened the scoring shortly after when Mata'utia kicked a penalty.
But the home side were soon in front when Connor stepped past two defenders and stretched to touch down from Danny Houghton's pass with 10 minutes gone. Sneyd kicked the extras to put his side 6-2 in front.
Hull were then awarded successive penalties and Sneyd opted to kick the second which went over off the post.
Mata'utia kicked the restart out on the full and was punished as Faraimo went over in the corner from Josh Griffin's offload, and Sneyd's third successful kick made it 14-2.
When the Castleford full-back repeated the error shortly after, another clever angled kick by Sneyd presented Kelly with the chance to touch down and this time the video referee allowed the score.
Sneyd's fourth successful kick of the half saw his side leading 20-2 with 23 minutes played.
Castleford scored their first try when Clare touched down six minutes before half-time and Mata'utia showed his aim had improved by converting from out wide to see his side trail 20-8 at the interval.
A succession of handling errors saw both sides concede possession at the start of the second half but after Sika Manu had ripped the ball away in a tackle and Kelly had carried strongly, Sneyd was presented with his second penalty of the game.
He kicked it to put the home side more than two converted scores in front.
Ratu Naulago, who had missed the defeat to Catalans while playing for the Army Rugby Union side, marked his return to Hull colours with one catch and strong run but the home side were not quite able to make the most of his efforts as Connor's offload out wide just short of the line was forward.
Castleford were denied a second try by the video referee after Greg Minikin failed to make contact on his attempted grubber kick before touching down after the loose ball had bounced off several players.
Hull's fourth try cameo courtesy of Minichiello when he crossed after Faraimo's strong run and offload and Sneyd's sixth kick of the night made it 28-8 with 10 minutes to go.
Aston claimed Castleford's second try with five minutes to go but it was too little too late as another missed kick by Mata'utia meant it finished 28-12 and Hull were safely through to the quarter-finals.
Head coach reaction
Lee Radford: "Our cup swagger, we seemed to find it. I am really pleased with the result and pleased with a lot of the players as well."
"I spoke to Jake last week about his performance and he was really tidy (tonight). He's been kicking himself with regard to last week. That standard he has set tonight, maybe it can be his go-to."
"The cup means a lot to us. With the Challenge Cup we can win by one point or 50 points, I'm not bothered. I just hope it's not a one-off and we have a poor showing next week."
Daryl Powell: "Some of the things that were done out there. Radders talked about amateur football last week. There are some real quality payers playing in amateur rugby league and some of that stuff was unacceptable, completely unacceptable.
"We got ourselves into such a sticky situation. I could say a lot worse but that performance was as bad as I have seen.
"I don't think I've been as animated in the changing room as I was at half-time. We all get paid to do what we do and that is a privilege."
"Before tonight I thought we were going alright. We have got a couple of young halves out there who are trying to control the team.
"That's not an excuse but I wouldn't lay the blame at their door.
"Everybody has got to have an edge about them but they didn't have an edge about them tonight for most of that game."