Castleford Tigers 12 Hull FC 30: Hull success but Castleford Tigers teenager Jason Qareqare shines on debut

Hull FC secured the win but this night at Castleford Tigers will be remembered for one of the most memorable starts to a young player’s career in rugby league history.

Castleford fans will have known little about Jason Qareqare before kick-off; the 17-year-old Academy winger is not a member of their first-team squad and was not even in the 21-man squad for this contest until his surprise late inclusion.

However, wearing the No33, the sleight teenager - whose name is pronounced ‘Gary Gary’ - scored with his very first touch after just 45 seconds and with one of the classiest finishes you are ever likely to see.

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At the start of the opening set of what would become a volatile Super League contest, Danny Richardson gave a no-look pass to Michael Shenton which gave the veteran centre just enough room to give the debutant a nice early touch in space.

From just inside Hull’s half, Qareqare immediately accelerated, surprising Burrta Faraimo with his pace and easily moving past the USA winger before approaching Jake Connor.

The sensible thing to have done then would be to take the tackle or at least move infield but Qareqare - with a classic in and out move - boldly opted to try and take the England international on the outside.

His decision and bravery paid dividends; the confident teenager rounded Connor, accelerating again to leave his rival in his wake and a stunned Wheldon Road crowd on its feet.

Qareqare, who hails from the same nearby Kippax Welfare club that produced Castleford legends such as Danny Orr and Andy Lynch, joined Tigers at Scholarship level at 15, one of the last of their crop to be scouted before deadline.

Castleford Tigers' Jason Qareqare celebrates his dream try (JONATHAN GAWTHORPE)

Amid all the recent Academy furore, Tigers having to fight to retain their elite licence after initially being turned down by the RFL, this was just the sort of scenario the club spoke of: local youngsters coming through to shine for their hometown club.

One can only imagine what the legendary Malcolm Reilly, who made his debut for Castleford more than half a century ago, will have been thinking as he smiled on from the main stand.

Admittedly, there was no dream ending for Qareqare as his side - missing a raft of first-teamers following Saturday’s Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Warrington Wolves - were eventually unpicked by Hull who quickly put their semi-final disappointment behind them with Connor turning on the style.

Underlining his England credentials once more, he created two tries and then, after delivering a 40/20 kick, rounded off the win with a try of his own as he stretched out of some tired Castleford defence.

Players react after Josh Reynolds tackle on Oli Holmes (JONATHAN GAWTHORPE)

The hosts, whose captain Shenton - twice the age of his rookie winger at 34 - was excellent, got a consolation try through Oli Holmes but this was a fourth straight league defeat for Daryl Powell’s side.

Hull’s victory, which takes them up to joint-fourth, came at a cost, though, as Brett Hodgson, having already lost Josh Griffin to a season-ending injury in Saturday’s loss to St Helens, saw another two centres crocked here.

Carlos Tuimavave limped out in the 26th minute with a hamstring issue and his replacement - Cameron Scott - departed in the latter stages holding his shoulder before Marc Sneyd was sin-binned for a professional foul.

After Swift got his first try in the 14th minute when Mahe Fonua, who bullied Castleford’s right edge all night, capitalised on some shirt-grabbing defence, Marc Sneyd’s conversion put them 6-4 ahead.

They applied most of the pressure but, with a combination of some poor execution and desperate home defence, failed to extend their lead.

Instead, Richardson levelled with a penalty in the 36th minute only to see his side concede in the final seconds of the half.

Paul McShane, their Man of Steel hooker who played stand-off last night with Jake Trueman and Gareth O’Brien missing, had been targeted from the off in his wide defensive position.

The thunderous Fonua - playing centre after Josh Griffin tore his Achilles in Saturday’s loss to St Helens - certainly made the diminutive rake’s life misery.

However, this time it was Sneyd’s lofted chip that saw Connor easily rise above McShane and then brilliantly palm down for Fonua to score.

Sneyd’s conversion put the visitors 12-6 ahead at the break and then they slowly turned the screw in the second period.

Connor’s grubber into the corner saw Qareqare needlessly take the ball dead for a drop-out which led to the possession for Connor’s quality pass to put Swift in for his eight try of the season.

Josh Reynolds’ high tackle on Holmes caused a melee and Andre Savelio was fortunate not to be penalised for a shoulder charge on Liam Watts as things heated up.

Instead, Reynolds ripped possession off Richardson and Fonua got on the outside of McShane once more to score his second try.

Caslteford’s Alex Foster, who only made his first appearance of the season on Saturday, was carried off on the hour mark after lengthy on-field treatment for a worrying neck injury.

Castleford Tigers: Matautia; Olpherts, Foster, Shenton, Qare Qare; McShane, Richardson; Martin, Milner, Griffin, Holmes, Sene-Lefao, Massey. Substitutes: Watts, O’Neill, Hepi, Peachey.

Hull FC: Connor; Faraimo, Tuimavave, Fonua, Swift; Reynolds, Sneyd; Sao, Houghton, Satae, Savelio, Ma’u, Lane. Substitutes: Johnstone, Fash, Bowden, Scott.

Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham)