Super 8s: Castleford Tigers 16-48 Hull FC

Hat-trick scorer Jake Connor pushed his claims for a place in the Hull side at Leeds in next Friday's play-off semi-final
Jake Connor pushed his claims for a place in the Hull side at Leeds in next Friday's play-off semi-final
Super 8s
Castleford (6) 16
Tries: Egodo 3 Goals: McShane 2
Hull (28) 48
Tries: Connor 3, Shaul 2, Kelly, Houghton, Tuimavave Goals: Sneyd 8

Hull FC booked a Super League play-off semi-final at Leeds next Friday as they secured third place in the table with a nine-try victory over weakened leaders Castleford.

Against a Cas side resting six players, Hull effectively killed the contest by the break, Jake Connor running in two of their five first-half tries.

Connor went on to get a treble, while Jamie Shaul crossed twice.

Albert Kelly, Danny Houghton and Carlos Tuimavave also scored tries.

Young Cas winger Tuoyo Egodo, who pulled one back before the break, scored two quickfire second-half tries for a hat-trick on his Super League debut, Paul McShane adding two goals.

But, with Marc Sneyd landing eight goals, Hull ran out comfortable winners against a Cas side missing Man of Steel nominees Zak Hardaker and Luke Gale, as well as Oliver Holmes, Nathan Massey, Grant Millington, Adam Milner and captain Michael Shenton.

The other Man of Steel candidate, Australian stand-off Kelly, celebrated his nomination with the opener and three try assists.

Cas are all but certain to host five-times Grand Final winners St Helens in Thursday's other play-off, when they will bid to reach Old Trafford for the first time on 7 October.

But Gale remains a doubt for Castleford's home semi-final against St Helens, as he is still recovering from an appendectomy..

Only a victory by 90 or more points for 2016 champions Wigan at Wakefield on Saturday would deny Saints a place in the last four.

Castleford coach Daryl Powell:

"It was a bit uncomfortable. We're not used to shipping scores like that. I was a bit disappointed we didn't hang tougher than that for longer.

"Our response after half-time was great but we made it too easy for them. The amount of penalties they got coming out of their own end was ridiculous.

"This week was all about next week. As tough as it was to watch at times, if we're walking out at Old Trafford in a couple of weeks' time we'll say the management of our players has been worth it."

Hull head coach Lee Radford:

"I'm fully aware of the size of the task next Friday. We've not won at Headingley in 10 years. I played the last time we won there, which says it all.

"Hopefully we can use last year's experience and disappointment to handle the game to our advantage. We're going to need to be good next Friday. They've been phenomenal at their place again this year.

"It'll be a little bit different with the South Stand closed. It had a bit of an eerie feel to it last time we played there. Hopefully that can work in our favour."

Tuoyo Egodo was the first to complete his hat-trick on the night but ended on the losing side
Tuoyo Egodo was the first to complete his hat-trick on the night but ended on the losing side

Castleford: Eden; Hitchcox, Monaghan, Webster, Egodo; T Holmes, Trueman; Cook, McShane, Springer, Foster, McMeeken, Larroyer.

Replacements: Lynch, Sene-Lefao, Roberts, Maher.

Hull: Shaul; Fonua, Connor, Tuimavave, Talanoa; Kelly, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton, Watts, Minichiello, Manu, Ellis.

Replacements: Bowden, Fash, Green, Washbrook.

Referee: Ben Thaler.

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