Super League: Hull FC 26-24 Castleford Tigers
|Betfred Super League|
|Hull FC (20) 26|
|Tries: Taylor, Fonua 2, Tuimavave Goals: Sneyd 5|
|Castleford (14) 24|
|Tries: Minikin, Roberts 2, Shenton, McMeeken Goals: McShane 2|
Hull FC stood strong to defeat Super League leaders Castleford, despite playing most of the match with 12 men.
Two tries from Mahe Fonua helped Hull take an early 18-0 lead before Liam Watts was controversially sent off for a high tackle on Luke Gale.
Tigers went in 20-14 behind at the break through Greg Minikin, Ben Roberts and Michael Shenton scores.
Roberts crossed again, but Carlos Tuimavave's try in the corner gave Hull back-to-back victories.
Mike McMeeken scored on the hooter for Cas, who missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of the table over Leeds, with the Rhinos in Challenge Cup action on Friday.
Prop Scott Taylor had put Hull on the board after great work from Albert Kelly and Fonua scored twice in the corner to give the hosts a real chance of victory, but Watts' dismissal changed the complexion of the game.
Less than one minute after Hull went down to 12 men, the Tigers scored their first try when Minikin rode the tackle of Sneyd for his 11th of the season.
Roberts then went over from close range for the Tigers after a break from Greg Eden, and Roberts' dash of his own allowed Shenton to score, after which Paul McShane scored the first of just two successful conversion attempts by his team.
Sneyd scored penalty goals either side of the break as Hull held out until the 58th minute, when Roberts' second brought them to within four points.
But Hull's defence continued to graft, forcing Junior Moors and McShane into errors on the try line, before Steve Michaels won a kick in the air, got the ball away to Tuimavave and he scored in the corner to make it 26-18.
McMeeken crossed too late to make a real difference for Cas, who could look back in frustration at their missed conversions.
Hull FC coach Lee Radford: "We're not making a big deal out of this win. We've been good, not great, but the time to be great is at the end of the season, like Wigan showed last season.
"We're not far away at all and when the big fixtures come we need to be ready.
"Until Liam's sending off we were well on top. I saw that in a different performance after we went down to 12 men, which was an unbelievable effort.
"I could sense confidence at half-time and we came up with try savers - and that builds more confidence."
Castleford coach Daryl Powell: "It was still doable, but we panicked. Hull were superb and started like a house on fire and we were nowhere to be seen, which was disappointing.
"When they went down to 12 men, we spoke about being calm - but they kept us out. I'm not taking anything away from Hull as it was a tremendous effort.
"To lose Gale was a blow and we lost some clarity as we couldn't get our combinations together and we made too many errors."
Hull FC: Shaul; Fonua, Tuimavave, Connor, Michaels; Kelly, Sneyd; Taylor, Washbrook, Watts, Manu, Minichiello, Ellis.
Replacements: Fash, Green, Thompson, Turgut.
Castleford: Hardaker; Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Eden; Roberts, Gale; Lynch, McShane, Springer, Holmes, McMeeken, Milner.
Replacements: Millington, Sene-Lefao, Moors, Monaghan.
Referee: Robert Hicks