Super League: Hull FC 24-31 Castleford Tigers

Denny Solomona
Denny Solomona was one of the most prolific scorers in Super League last season with 18 tries
First Utility Super League
Hull FC (18) 24
Tries: Thompson, Michaels, Shaul 2 Goals: Sneyd 4
Castleford (18) 31
Tries: Hitchcox 2, Solomona 3 Goals: Gale 5 Drop goal: Gale

Denny Solomona scored a hat-trick as Castleford won a thriller at Hull FC.

Tigers debutant Jy Hitchcox scored their first try after only 90 seconds, and Solomona added another before Jordan Thompson replied for Hull.

Hitchcox crossed again, but Stephen Michaels and Jamie Shaul tied it at 18-18 before Solomona put Cas ahead again.

Shaul then gave the hosts the lead for the first time but Luke Gale's penalty and drop goal, along with Solomona's hat-trick try, won it for Castleford.

Victory for Castleford moves them to second place, a point behind new leaders Wigan who beat Salford 20-16 in Thursday's other Super League game.

The visitors went ahead after only 90 seconds with Hitchcox going over following good work from Lee Jewitt and Ben Crooks on the right-hand side.

Luke Gale added the extras and did the same minutes later after he started the move which ended with Luke Dorn releasing Solomona to run free on the left.

Thompson burst through the middle of the Castleford defence to close the gap and Marc Sneyd added the conversation.

Dorn's cross-field kick saw Crooks palm the ball to Hitchcox to run in for his second try and Gale's successful conversion saw Cas take a healthy advantage.

But two quick tries for the hosts changed everything as first Michaels crossed in the corner, while Danny Washbrook drew two tacklers to release Shaul, and Sneyd's two conversations ensured the game was level at the break.

Jake Webster's great offload saw Solomona squeeze over for his second try as Castleford started the second half strong.

But Hull went ahead for the first time when Sneyd's conversion gave them a two-point lead after Shaul dived under the posts after a brilliant run.

Gale kicked a penalty and drop goal in quick succession to edge the visitors a point ahead, before Solomona intercepted Carlos Tuimavave's pass to complete his treble.

Hull coach Lee Radford:

"I'm bitterly disappointed with result but we didn't deserve the two points, so I have no qualms about the result.

"Our work after contact was really poor and we lost the ground battle. They were tighter and tidier around the ruck, which allowed them to have quick play-the-balls.

"I was disappointed with the way we chased the game and panicked. It's still early in the season but there was no composure at the end."

Castleford coach Daryl Powell:

"To win the game in the way we did showed great resilience. It's always tough to come here and win. This is a big win for us.

"The battle in the middle ebbed and flowed both ways. We started well, then we tired and they got back in the game.

"But Luke Gale's drop goal was huge. He told me he's rubbish at drop goals so this should give him some belief."

Hull: Shaul, Michaels, Logan, Tuimavave, Talanoa, Pryce, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Watts, Minichiello, Manu, Thompson.

Replacements: Ellis, Bowden, Pritchard, Washbrook.

Castleford: Dorn, Monaghan, Crooks, Webster, Solomona, Roberts, Gale, Lynch, McShane, Millington, Holmes, McMeeken, Jewitt.

Replacements: Milner, Massey, Cook, Moors.

Referee: Robert Hicks (RFL).