Jake Trueman scores hat-trick as Castleford beat Hull FC

Castleford are in good form
Castleford are in good form

Jake Trueman scored a hat-trick to leave Castleford on the brink of the play-offs as Hull faced up to an early finish to their season.

The young half-back was this week included in the Great Britain performance squad and he enhanced his burgeoning reputation in a Super League record 44-12 win against the Airlie Birds.

Cheyse Blair opened the scoring with his first try for Castleford before a Trueman double gave the home side a firm grip on the game.

Masi Matongo went over for Hull's opening try but Trueman made it a treble before James Clare, Jordan Rankin and Matt Cook completed the visitors' misery after Jack Logan's breakaway effort.

The result saw Daryl Powell's team leapfrog their opponents into the top five ahead of their final fixture of the regular season against Wigan.

Hull must now beat runaway leaders St Helens next week and hope other results go their way.

The Black and Whites went into the match on the back of damaging home defeats to Salford and Huddersfield, and there were signs of the fragility that had left them clinging on to their play-off spot as Castleford took control of the contest early on.

It took the Tigers only eight minutes to get on the board through Blair, the former Melbourne centre forcing his way over out wide after Hull old boys Liam Watts and Rankin had opened the visitors up.

A mistake by Logan from a cross-field kick gave Castleford perfect field position and they made it count as Trueman threw an outrageous dummy to take Sika Manu and Albert Kelly out of the game.

Hull were treading water and they conceded a third try in 10 minutes when Trueman took advantage of more soft tackling to cruise over under the posts.

Hull have been on the wrong end of numerous blowouts in recent times and they were on course for another humiliating defeat after Jamie Ellis added his fourth goal from a penalty.

The Airlie Birds gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Matongo charged on to a flat pass from Kelly and reached out to score.

Tevita Satae was held up as Hull sought another try before half-time and when they resumed after the interval any momentum they built up had gone.

Seventy-eight seconds was all it took for Trueman to help himself to a third try as the Tigers kept the ball alive following an error from Ratu Naulago coming away from his own line.

Daniel Smith was denied a score when he was adjudged to have knocked on trying to ground Paul McShane's grubber kick but there was a sense Castleford had already done enough.

Jake Connor bombed a certain try and it got worse for Hull when full-back Jamie Shaul was shown a yellow card for a professional foul on Rankin following a break.

But out of nowhere the Black and Whites hit back, Carlos Tuimavave picking off a kick from Rankin and giving Logan a 90-metre sprint to the line.

That only delayed the inevitable as Clare put the result beyond any doubt with a finish in the corner and Rankin touched down a kick from the outstanding Trueman.

Connor rounded off a night to forget when he was sin-binned for dissent and Cook had the last word with Castleford's seventh try.

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