This was a fantastic, open and exciting game of rugby and whilst I take nothing away from a traditionally classy Castleford effort, we were the masters of our own downfall despite the try count going 4-3 in the Airlie Birds favour.
When it is the last set and you are right in front of the sticks, one point adrift and protecting a five game unbeaten streak the obvious solution is not a hopeful grubber kick to where the visitors best defenders are placed, but this is what happened so instead of a 19 all draw which would have sent us top (Leeds lost at Saints, yay!) we lie in third albeit tied on ten points with last seasons Grand Final pair.
I have a great deal of time for Castleford. They are a wonderful Club and play football the way it should be played, open, attacking, and handling skills and quick feet are more admired at the Jungle than any other attributes.
Every time I think of the 1994 Regal Trophy Final when Cas put that hated Wigan team to the sword, I can’t help but smile.
This Terry Matterson coached outfit carry the torch into the modern era and their scrum half Rangi Chase was absolutely outstanding and my Man of the Match. His ability to step off either foot and leave his marker for dead was quite something to behold.
Having said that we allowed the Tigers far too much space by failing to close things down in midfield, but this has to be seen in a positive light as it allows Agar and Jon Sharp to work on this before we come up against Leeds or Saints who, given such licence, would cut you apart.
The charge of complacency is bound to be laid. I’m not sure. We scored with our first set but from then on certain things conspired against us.
Here we go. Yes I know this is a typical Black and White fans reaction but the referee…
Monsieur Ailbert was even handedly incompetent. One minute it was anything goes, including a spear tackle by Cas on Houghton, and the next penalties were doled out for seemingly spurious reason.
Hull FC seemed to get the bad decisions when it mattered. The first Cas try resulted from M. Ailbert missing a clear knock on and instead awarding a penalty for stripping, and the amount of encroachment from the Cas defence late on in the game made it impossible for us to get any momentum in the visitors 22.
Danny Tickle didn’t help matters by missing three goal attempts, all manageable, but it was a collective lack of ability to finish the game when we had the chance to, plus some mercurial play from Cas that caused defeat.
The Coaching team have demanded a response, and it’s times like these that will determine whether the brilliant start to the season can be followed up when the Silverware is dished out.
Hull FC: Hall, Calderwood, G. Horne, Yeaman, Briscoe, R. Horne, Thorman, Dowes, Houghton, Cusack, Manu, Tickle, Radford. Substitutes: Lee, Thackray, Moa, and Berrigan.