Sneyd gives frustrated Hull fans a glimpse of things to come

Castleford Tigers' Marc Sneyd. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Castleford Tigers' Marc Sneyd. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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IT must have been all so confusing for Hull FC fans to witness.

Did they laugh or cry? Marc Sneyd, the man who is finally seen as the answer to their long-running half-back conundrum, showed his full repertoire of skills and talent on Thursday.

The only problem was it all actually came in Castleford Tigers colours as he inspired a brilliant late comeback to deny his future employers a much-needed win.

Trailing 18-4 with 13 minutes to go, Sneyd began the remarkable turnaround by scoring his sixth try of what has proved a seminal season on loan from Salford.

He converted, too, with that wonderfully idiosyncratic style of his, actually starting his run-up in front of the ball before striding around with a piercing left foot that then created a quickfire brace of tries for winger James Clare to complete the fightback.

Unusually, he missed three other conversions to at least allow Hull a share of the points.

So, how was the unusual experience at KC Stadium, playing in front of almost 10,000 fans, many of whom will be cheering his every move next season but will still be cursing him this morning?

“It was a bit weird,” Sneyd, who has commanded a £100,000 fee, told The Yorkshire Post.

“But we just didn’t start at all. We were just nowhere... no game-plan to us or anything like that. It was shocking really.”

Castleford, of course, have been flying as the surprise package of 2014, challenging on all three fronts for the League Leaders’ Shield, a Grand Final success and also Challenge Cup given they have a semi-final with Widnes a fortnight tomorrow for a place at Wembley.

Their form is in no small part down to the influence of Sneyd, who has more try assists – 24 – than anyone else in Super League.

Did he, though, think his side had lost the chance of victory against their previously struggling opponents with that error-strewn start?

“I think we’ve shown, this year especially, that we’ve got plenty of character there and that if we’re behind we can definitely come back from any position,” he said.

“So, I don’t think there was any point in the game where we didn’t think we could get back into it. Once we got one try we got a bit of a roll on and sort of decided we wanted to play and show what we could do.

“It started swinging the other way for us towards the end. We took advantage and took chances we didn’t take earlier.”

He was not surprised that Hull declined two opportunities to kick penalties when 18-4 ahead approaching the hour-mark – “I don’t think they were ever expecting us to come back into it” – but accepts it was eventually a positive result for his own side.

“After the start we had, it was probably a point won rather than lost,” added Sneyd. “I don’t think we played until maybe 60 or 65 minutes so that’s definitely the case.

“Hull were a lot more up for it than we were I suppose. I don’t see any other explanation for that early part of the game.”

Sneyd’s bold decision to attempt an attacking kick on only the third tackle for Clare’s equalising score shows the sort of confidence he has garnered playing for Daryl Powell’s side – and another reason why Hull have gone to such expense to secure him on a three-year deal.

“He finished a couple off fairly well but at the end we were trying pretty much anything to get over – you’ve just got to throw anything at them – and gladly it worked,” said Oldham-born Sneyd.

He had already set up Michael Shenton’s first-half try with a classy break – he has broken 53 tackles this term – and he concedes this season could not have gone any better.

He arrived as a makeweight in the expensive deal that saw England stand-off Rangi Chase move the other way to Salford and said: “It has been pretty incredible. We’re up there in the top four, in the Cup, too, and we’ve got a massive month ahead.

“We’ve a few days off to relax first and then we’ll come back in ready to go.”

They host relegated London on Sunday as they look to stay in touch with the leaders.

Given their style and class, though, Sneyd, and Castleford, deserve at least one piece of silverware this season. Then it will be Hull’s turn to benefit.