Hull FC took on Castleford Tigers at the MKM Stadium tonight as Lee Radford went up against his old side on his former patch for the first time.
It was a highly-controversial first-half with Castleford rushing into an 8-0 lead before Hull FC hit back with three tries to lead 18-8 after Derrell Olpherts and Connor Wynne were sent to the sinbin for a scuffle.
However, one of those Hull efforts – Darnell McIntosh – looked like a no try as referee Chris Kendall sent it upstairs to Liam Moore. Moore found there was sufficient evidence to overturn the no try decision despite it being incredibly tough to see any grass between the ball and the dead-ball line.
Olpherts replied for the Tigers before the break as Hull led 18-14 at half-time.
It was all Castleford in the second-half, though, despite having Jake Mamo in the sinbin for dissent, the Tigers scored three tries to lead 30-18.
Two more followed as Olpherts made it four and the Tigers made it 42-18. And, Alex Sutcliffe was able to run 60 metres from another interception to round off the scoring at 46-18.
George Lawler was sinbinned on the hooter.
Radford waxed lyrical about the victory, saying how the reception from both fans was brilliant.
“They’ve been giving me a stick all week saying that it’s my Grand Final and the fans are singing ‘there’s only one Lee Radford,” Radford said on Sky Sports after the game.
“It was a good reception, it was a big part of my life this club, but tonight was enjoyable even though it felt a bit strange to see some of the fans leaving that early.
“It felt strange coming in on the opposition’s bus.”
Radford was also enthused by how his side keep coming back from adversity, with both Gareth O’Brien and Alex Mellor having to leave the field with head knocks, ruling them out of next week’s clash against Wakefield Trinity.
“We’ve just had some incredible obstacles but they keep responding.
“The togetherness is evident in their actions and it makes me proud to watch that and associate with that.
“We’ve got some blokes really playing to their potential and that’s a real fine art.”