A remarkable late rally earned Castleford Tigers a second successive draw, as they hit back from 18-4 down at Hull last night.
Hull were 14 points clear as late as the 68th minute, but Cas scored three touchdowns in the final 12 and only some unusually wayward goal kicking from Marc Sneyd denied them a win.
Tigers were second-best for most of the game against a Hull side intent on regaining some pride after last weekend’s 56-10 drubbing at Wigan.
But third-bottom Hull are a team low on confidence and once Cas got a sniff of a chance, the home team collapsed in a heap.
Sneyd will join Hull next year and he showed them what they’ll be getting with a stand-out performance, place-kicking apart.
His try, carved out by Luke Dorn and Michael Shenton, began the fightback and then – with eight minutes left – the No 7’s kick was hacked on by Shenton and James Clare touched down.
Sneyd converted his own try, but couldn’t improve Clare’s.
With three minutes left the clock was stopped for treatment to Hull half-back Jordan Abdull, who caught a knee from Weller Hauraki.
The Cas man was placed on report, but there was no penalty and Cas retained possession.
They were then awarded a penalty a few metres out and in the next set Sneyd kicked to the corner and Clare gathered for his second to level the scores.
Sneyd’s conversion would have won it, but the kick was off target and Cas had to settle for a point, keeping them in fourth spot in the First Utility Super League table.
That didn’t look likely for most of the game as Cas failed to hit the heights they had reached in last week’s 24-24 stalemate at Leeds Rhinos.
Tigers boss Daryl Powell tried to freshen things up, leaving out four players – Jake Webster, Justin Carney, Craig Huby and Lee Jewitt – from last week’s team and bringing in Ashley Gibson, Clare, Garreth Carvell and Scott Wheeldon.
Despite that, Hull looked the hungrier and better side, putting Cas – who made a series of errors in their own half – under huge pressure.
Danny Houghton and Kirk Yeaman created the opening try for Fetuli Talanoa and though brilliant work by Sneyd and a juggling finish from Shenton got Cas in the game, Hull took an eight-point interval lead after a solo try from Abdull.
Hull went further ahead just three minutes after the break when Yeaman crossed from Abdull’s pass.
Rankin’s third conversion made it 18-4 and Hull had a couple of opportunities to put the game beyond Cas’ reach when they were awarded kickable penalties, but they opted for taps and the visitors were let off the hook.
Tigers’ coach Powell said: “I thought we were poor for large parts of the game. It was disappointing, the effort from a lot of players was not good enough, but we have got a point out of a game we should have lost.”
Tigers’ medical staff were today checking on forward Grant Millington who suffered a knee injury late in the game.
Hull: Shaul, Lineham, Whiting, Yeaman, Talanoa, Abdull, Rankin, Green, Houghton, Watts, Ellis, Hadley, Westerman. Subs (all used) Paea, Thompson, Heremaia, Sa.
Castleford Tigers: Dorn, Dixon, Gibson, Shenton, Clare, Sneyd, Finn, Lynch, Milner, Carvell, Mariano, Hauraki, Massey. Subs (all used) Millington, Clark, Holmes, Wheeldon.
Referee: James Child (Batley).