Castleford Tigers: Mariano swoops to keep up Cas’ record

Michael Shenton
Michael Shenton
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Another high octane clash, another dramatic finish and another Castleford Tigers win as Hull were conquered 19-16 at MAH Jungle.

ANOTHER HIGH octane clash, another dramatic finish and another Castleford Tigers win as Hull were conquered 19-16 at MAH Jungle.

It wasn’t quite as frantic as the previous week’s win over Wigan Warriors, Castleford grabbing the decisive lead as early as the 74th minute this time.

But yet again Cas showed the qualities introduced by coach Daryl Powell in his near year in charge – a fabulous, never-say-die team spirit, gutsy defence and the ability to score tries out of nowhere.

Hull – who were marginally the better team overall – led three times and were 16-12 ahead until six minutes from time when in-form captain Michael Shenton made a break and Frankie Mariano was in support to go over the line.

Marc Sneyd kicked his third conversion and then added a drop goal to complete the scoring and make it five wins out of five for Tigers.

It might not have been the prettiest of games, but both teams deserved full marks for effort and intensity.

Some of the defence was ferocious and a couple of the tries – Tigers’ first and debutant Liam Colbon’s finish for Hull’s third – were world class.

It was breathless right from the off, with Hull going 6-0 up before Cas had been in possession, when Fetuli Talanoa swooped over from Kirk Yeaman’s pass for a try in the second minute, which Ben Crooks – son of Cas and Hull legend Lee – converted.

Daryl Clark’s brilliant dart from dummy-half set up the equalising score four minutes later.

Grant Millington was in support and he shipped out a perfect pass which was finished by skipper Michael Shenton.

But Hull who went in 12-6 ahead at the break, though Cas lad Gareth Ellis.

There was nothing the home defence could do to stop the former England back-rower when he gathered Aaron Heremai’s pass a few metres out on the half-hour, in the set from a drop out after Jordan Tansey had knocked on under no pressure behind his own line.

Tigers missed a couple of chances at the start of the second half – most glaringly when Tansey burst clear and hurled his pass straight at Chris Tuson – before Mariano’s clean break set up an equalising score.

It looked like lack of support would kill the move, but Clark ghosted up and managed to get the ball away to Oliver Holmes, who sent Sneyd in, the No 7 also converting, via an upright. Hull, though, hit back to go ahead for a third time 10 minutes later – after three successive penalties – when debutant winger Liam Colbon managed to get the ball down at the corner.

There was no goal and the game hung in the balance until Mariano – an ex-Hull KR player – went over to bring the house down.

Castleford Tigers: Tansey, Owen, Channing, Shenton, Carney, Sneyd, Finn, Lynch, Clark, Huby, Holmes, Hauraki, Millington. Subs (all used) Webster, Milner, Massey, Mariano.

Hull: Shaul, Colbon, Crooks, Yeaman, Talanoa, Heremaia, Horne, Paea, Houghton, Bowden, Ellis, Tuson, Westerman. Subs (all used) Watts, Whiting, Thompson, Rankin.

Referee: Tim Roby (Preston).

Attendance: 9,867.

Castleford Tigers forward Mike McMeeken. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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