Rowan Milnes brilliance, Hull indiscipline: 7 conclusions from Castleford’s win over Hull FC

Aaron Bower

Castleford Tigers’ resurgence under Craig Lingard continued with another victory, this time triumphing 30-22 over out-of-sorts Hull FC.

The Black and Whites have now lost an incredible ten games in succession and despite a late flurry here, they were ultimately well-beaten in West Yorkshire.

Here’s the big takeaways from the night.

Castleford’s next retention goal? Liam Horne

Liam Horne
Liam Horne in action for Castleford Tigers in 2024

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Tigers on the retention front, with seven new deals handed out to players for 2025 and beyond.

Naturally, fans will want to see new signings come through the door as well as existing players being tied down but it’s clear that there’s one more retention – at least – Castleford need to tie off: Liam Horne.

Horne has an option for another year in the club’s favour, making a renewal not all that difficult. You would wager that, based on his performance here, it’s one Castleford will be keen to sort next. He was lively from start to finish, and provided a real spark for the hosts.

Rowan Milnes passes an audition

Rowan Milnes
Rowan Milnes warms up ahead of a Castleford Tigers game in 2024

With Jacob Miller missing and Danny Richardson’s Castleford career already over, it was the chance Milnes has perhaps been waiting for on Friday night. It certainly wasn’t against the highest-quality opposition, but Milnes took his chance.

With Paul McShane partnering him in the halves, Milnes had to take the chance on offer and prove he could be the leader the Tigers’ spine are looking for. On this basis, he will get more chances in the coming weeks to show he can be the long-term answer for Castleford.

Several try assists, brilliant from the kicking tee and majestic with ball in hand: this was the night Milnes’ burgeoning Castleford career needed.

Hull’s discipline is their biggest issue

They aren’t just regular penalties, or a variety of offences. Too often, Hull are putting in lazy defensive shots that are high – and they’re happening at crucial points in the game.

Their discipline has been notoriously bad – Simon Grix admitted as much recently – all season, and this was another prime example of how the Black and Whites are shooting themselves in the foot. Jason Qareqare and Corey Hall’s tries came off the back of penalties: and if they continue to do that, they won’t win games.

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Corey Hall’s centre wish looks realistic

The suggestion behind Corey Hall’s exit from Hull KR was that he wanted to pursue a career as a centre in Super League rather than in the back-row, where Rovers perhaps saw him.

Well, having secured a move to Wakefield for 2025, Hall’s desire to play in the three-quarters looked a pretty encouraging one on Friday night. He showed some wonderful touches, took a well-worked try and looked to have a good link-up with the man we’re about to mention next..

Jason Qareqare: too good to be a backup?

There was understandable delight from Castleford supporters when news came in that both Innes and Louis Senior had signed long-term deals with the Tigers – but with Louis out for the next few months, it hands an opportunity to another player who recently signed a new deal.

And as he so often has done over the past couple of years, Jason Qareqare took the opportunity that was handed his way. It’s incredible to think he’s still only 20 and to that end, still very raw as a top Super League winger.

But Qareqare is an undoubted talent who needs to play regularly. If the Seniors are the frontline pairing for 2025, will he get the game-time he needs? Castleford have a star in the making: but he needs to play.

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Glimpses for Hull: but simply not enough

Ten defeats in a row is the headline: a continuation of the second-longest losing run in Hull FC’s entire history.

This felt like a big night for the Black and Whites to at least show some mettle and while they were on the end of a familiar scoreline, there were flashes of things for Simon Grix to be positive about.

But too often, errors at critical times saw periods of Hull pressure without any real points and as mentioned, their indiscipline in defence was their undoing. There were moments of promise but right now, it simply is not enough.

Hull’s season isn’t over

Any suggestion that the Black and Whites are going through the motions until John Cartwright arrives next season should be unfounded – they’re firmly in a battle to avoid finishing bottom of Super League.

Yes, IMG and the grading system dictates that whoever finishes bottom won’t endure any sort of real tragedy in terms of relegation. But for a club like Hull FC – and given all the noise about the purported weaknesses of London Broncos – to finish bottom of Super League would serve as a real embarrassment.

They have work to do in the next few weeks to ensure a prospect which would have seemed unthinkable at the start of the season does not become a reality.

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