‘Character and desire was sensational’ hails Hull FC boss Andy Last

Hull FC interim head coach Andy Last hailed his side’s character after a brutal 32-28 win at Castleford Tigers.

With both sides in desperate need of a win, it was the Airlie Birds who came back from the dead with Jake Connor’s 77th-minute try.

They had led 26-12 only to fall behind when Mike McMeeken and Michael Shenton struck twice in the final 10 minutes.

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But Marc Sneyd’s short restart worked wonders and Last said: “Some experienced players came up with some big plays at the end. We made hard work of it and it was frustrating at times.

Hull FC's Jake Connor celebrates the winning try. Picture: PAHull FC's Jake Connor celebrates the winning try. Picture: PA
Hull FC's Jake Connor celebrates the winning try. Picture: PA

“There was some good stuff I liked and some other stuff not so much. But the character and desire was sensational and I’m just pleased we got the result.”

It was a much-needed win for Hull who have been inconsistent of late and were left facing a third straight defeat.

But they had marginally more poise than their hosts who have now lost seven from eight games since the end of lockdown.

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Ben McNamara, the 18-year-old son of former England coach Steve McNamara, was a late call-up for Hull and he scored a debut try.

Castleford's Michael Shenton dives over to score. Picture: Jonathan GawthorpeCastleford's Michael Shenton dives over to score. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Castleford's Michael Shenton dives over to score. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Last said: “He only got the call that he was playing at short notice this morning and then he came on after 15 minutes in the key position of scrum-half.

“He’s a really good kid who’s come through the system here – scholarship, City of Hull Academy – and worked his way into Reserve Grade.

“He’s a great advertisement for all young kids as he’s done it the hard way and done a lot of training on his own and continued with his studies.

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“He has a real good attitude and wants to listen and wants to learn. He’s a great young man with a good, level head.”

Last added: “He knows the game inside out sat with his dad learning the game.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in him and he’ll be a great player for us in the future.

“He was up against Junior Moors who’s a big handful but he held his own defensively and what he did do well was play it simple.”

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Tigers coach Daryl Powell, who appeared at the press conference an hour after the end of the game, said: “It’s really tough at the minute, we’re losing games by marginal decisions and by marginal points differential.

“There were a couple of class bits of play at the end from Sneyd and Connor but I can’t fault our boys for how hard they are working.

“We’re trying to find a way through a really difficult situation. I think we’ve been super unlucky but I can’t fault the commitment of the players.

“I thought we belted Hull in the first but conceded a couple of soft tries and the second try was beyond belief really.”

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There was controversy after 30 minutes when Hull hooker Jordan Johnstone left a brawl in back play to support a break by Connor to score his first try for the club which levelled the scores.

“It was a nonsensical try really,” Powell said. “If the aggressor had been a Cas player I would have understood.

“But Jacques O’Neill was clearly taken away to ground and it should have been chalked off because of that.”

Last said: “I can see why Daryl was so frustrated with it but the ref didn’t blow his whistle and you’ve got to play to the whistle, that’s what you’re taught in your junior days.”

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