Castleford teenager Jason Qareqare scored a sensational try 44 seconds into his Super League debut but finished in a well-beaten side as Hull bounced back from their Challenge Cup exit to secure a 30-12 win at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle.
The 17-year-old Qareqare was drafted onto the wing at short notice as coach Daryl Powell rang the changes following his side’s surprise cup semi-final win over Warrington which earned them a trip to Wembley in July.
Qareqare will be unlikely to make Powell’s cup final team but he will forever savour his first taste of Super League as he gave the Tigers the perfect start to their round nine fixture.
The home fans were probably still working on the pronunciation of the young newcomer’s name when quick hands from Danny Richardson and Michael Shenton got Qareqare into space and, with the touch of a veteran, he rounded England international Jake Connor to score the opening try.
Without six members of their victorious semi-final team, Castleford were unsurprisingly unable to capitalise on their bright start and were eventually overhauled by a more balanced Hull outfit.
It was a much-improved performance on the Tigers’ 60-6 defeat by Leeds in their previous home game but still amounted to a fourth straight league loss.
Hull’s matchwinner was Mahe Fonua, who was switched to centre in the absence of the injured Josh Griffin and scored two tries, as did winger Adam Swift.
Stunned by conceding such an early score, it took Hull some time to settle but they eventually drew level through Swift after Fonua proved too strong for his opposite number Derrell Olpherts.
Marc Sneyd edged the visitors in front with the conversion and Fonua and stand-off Josh Reynolds both went close to increasing the lead as Hull piled on the pressure.
The Castleford defence held firm and Richardson levelled the scores with a penalty four minutes before half-time but Hull crucially struck a second time on the stroke of half-time.
Connor plucked the ball out of the air from Sneyd’s accurate kick and sent Fonua over for his side’s second try, which Sneyd converted for a 12-6 advantage.
That quickly became a 12-point lead when Sneyd and Connor moved the ball out smartly for Swift to cross unopposed for his second try and he was desperately close to completing his hat-trick three minutes later as he chased Sneyd’s kick to the line.
Tempers then became frayed, sparked by a high tackle on Castleford second rower Oliver Holmes, but Hull made the game safe after 54 minutes when Reynolds got Fonua charging over for his second try and Sneyd kicked his fourth goal.
The game became scrappy and was held up for more than five minutes for Castleford centre Alex Foster to receive treatment for a neck injury before he was carried from the field on a stretcher.
Hull finished the game with 12 men after Sneyd was sin-binned for a professional foul and they also lost replacement centre Cameron Scott with a shoulder injury but still managed another score when Connor stretched out of a two-man tackle for their fifth try, to which the full-back added the goal.
Castleford finished a well-beaten side but had the consolation of wrapping up the scoring when Holmes went over for a 77th-minute try.