Castleford Tigers 33 Hull FC 26: Coach Lee Radford breaks duck against former club

Lee Radford finally got his first win as Castleford Tigers coach at his former club Hull’s expense this afternoon - thanks largely to a hat-trick from Greg Eden and one of the fastest tries in Betfred Super League’s history.
Gareth O'Brien passes to Jordan Turner. Picture by Alan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Gareth O'Brien passes to Jordan Turner. Picture by Alan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Gareth O'Brien passes to Jordan Turner. Picture by Alan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

After three defeats and with a host of first-choice players missing, Tigers overturned the odds to stun the visitors 33-26 in front of a crowd of 10,072 at the Jungle.

It was an outstanding effort by Tigers, who had number nine Paul McShane out of position in the halves, prop George Lawler starting at hooker and youngsters Sam Hall and Cain Robb on the bench.

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In an 11-try thriller, Tigers were never behind, taking the lead with a try by prop Dan Smith inside the opening 10 seconds. Hull’s Jake Connor caught the kick-off and turned the ball to Ligi Sao. He dropped it and Smith was there to pick up and touch down.

Joe Westerman leads the celebrations after Tigers' first win of the season. Picture by SAllan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Joe Westerman leads the celebrations after Tigers' first win of the season. Picture by SAllan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Joe Westerman leads the celebrations after Tigers' first win of the season. Picture by SAllan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Gareth O’Brien - switched from the halves to full-back in place of Niall Evalds, who missed out because of a hamstring injury - added the conversion and booted a penalty eight minutes later after Danny Houghton was sin-binned for a high tackle on McShane.

The visitors got points on the board after 27 minutes through Houghton, who went over for his 50th Hull try, from a one-two with former Tigers loan player Andre Savelio.

Ben McNamara tagged on the extras, but Castleford replied with back-to-back tries, both from passes by Jake Trueman. Eden finished strongly from close-range on the powerplay and then, after the restart had gone out of the full, Cheyse Blair crashed over.

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O’Brien converted Blair’s try, but Hull cut the gap immediately with what was almost a carbon copy of the game’s first score. The visitors’ restart was spilled by Derrell Olpherts and McNamara picked up to send Josh Griffin over.

The goal from McNamara cut Tigers’ lead to 18-12 at half-time, but the flurry of tries continued soon after the break when O’Brien threw a dummy and scooted through a big gap in the defence.

O’Brien then turned provider with the final pass to Eden to score his second try, on 51 minutes, after Robb and Trueman had handled.

Neither touchdown was converted and Hull looked to be getting back into the game with tries either side of the hour mark, through Adam Swift - who dived over at the corner from Griffin’s pass - and Connor Wynne, off Connor’s kick behind the line.

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With McNamara converting the first, the gap was down to four points, but Eden’s stunning hat-trick score turned the tide again.

Trueman began the move with a pass to Jordan Turner, he supplied Alex Sutcliffe and the ex-Leeds man sent Eden dashing clear. The winger dummied to pass inside and got past Connor for a brilliant try which O’Brien improved from the touchline.

Hull refused to give in and Jamie Shaul’s unconverted try put them back within six points with as many minutes left, but O’Brien capped a fine game with a drop goal to finally seal the win.

Radford admitted he would have preferred his first win to come in round one, but was full of praise for his side.

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“The manner of the result was important for us as well,” he said.

“The determination was there to see from Monday onwards and how we’ve been this week in training was fantastic.

“Today is an end result of that; we had blokes playing out of position and coming up eight special efforts through the 80 minutes.”

Castleford Tigers: O’Brien, Olpherts, Fonua, Turner, Eden, Trueman, McShane, Matagi, Lawler, Smth, Blair, Sutcliffe, Wesdterman. Subs Hepi, Martin, Hall, Robb.

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Hull: Connor, Swift, Griffin, Wynne, Shaul, Reynolds, McNamara, Sao, Houghton, Satae, Savelio, Lane, Fash. Subs Lovodua, Evans, Brown, Johnstone.

Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).

Attendance: 10,072.

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