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Round 1: Hull Too Strong for Cas
New boys Castleford provided some glimpses of promise on their return to the top flight but they were no match for Challenge Cup holders Hull on the opening night of engage Super League XI as the east Yorkshire side won 42-18.
A comprehensive eight-try defeat confirmed Hull as serious title challengers after recruiting well during the off-season.
Sid Domic scored the first try of the 2006 season on an impressive debut for Hull, while playmakers Paul Cooke and Richard Horne caused all sorts of problems for a fragile home defence.
Ex-St Helens and Widnes centre Gray Viane, one of 10 new faces for the Tigers, scored two tries and their fans among the bumper 10,188 crowd were delighted with the displays of prop Danny Sculthorpe and skipper Danny Nutley.
Former Warrington and Wakefield centre Domic, who formed a new second-row pairing for Hull with Lee Radford, took advantage of some smart passing by Paul King and Danny Brough to cut through for an eighth-minute touchdown to put Hull on their way.
The visitors were already 2-0 ahead thanks to an early Brough penalty and they extended their lead on 24 minutes when a superb break from Horne set up the position for full-back Shaun Briscoe to cross for a second try.
The Challenge Cup holders were far more organised and threatening and it was no surprise when loose forward Cooke added a third try on 32 minutes, stretching out of a last-ditch tackle to plant the ball on the line.
Castleford were full of energy and enthusiasm, as befitting the promoted side, but made too many handling errors and paid for a lack of discipline, conceding the first four penalties of a scrappy first half.
They scored their first points when substitute Richard Fletcher kicked a 19th-minute penalty and Sculthorpe caused Hull problems with his lively running and skilful offloads.
Sculthorpe also demonstrated his kicking ability to set up the first Tigers try a minute before the break, with winger Michael Shenton taking advantage of a kind bounce to send Viane over.
The score worked wonders for Castleford?s confidence as they put the Hull defence under intense pressure early in the second half.
But the visitors held firm and struck back in cruel fashion, scoring twice in four minutes through their wingmen to seize control of the match.
First Domic showed his class with a beautifully-timed pass to get substitute Nathan Blacklock over with his first touch and then Cooke and Horne produced some clever handling for Great Britain international Gareth Raynor to finish off at the other corner.
Brough was wide with both conversion attempts to leave himself with a 50% record but, at 26-6, Hull were coasting to a predictable victory.
Viane collected a neat kick by Ryan McGoldrick to claim his second try and second rower Richard Fa?aoso and McGoldrick also touched down as Castleford gained reward for their persistence.
But Hull finished in complete control, with centre Kirk Yeaman (2) and Peter Lupton adding further tries and Cooke kicking two conversions.
Castleford (6) 18
Tries: Viane (2), Fa?aoso, McGoldrick
Hull (18) 42
Tries: Domic, Briscoe, Cooke, Blacklock, Raynor, Yeaman (2), Lupton
Goals: Brough (3), Cooke (2)
Castleford: Viane, Viane, Bird, Shenton, Dyer, Blanch, McGoldrick, Kain, Sculthorpe, Henderson, Nutley, Whitaker, Fa?aoso, Roarty.
Replacements: A. Smith, Fletcher, Ward, Mason.
Hull: Briscoe, Tony, Whiting, Yeaman, Raynor, R. Horne, Brough, Dowes, Swain, King, Radford, Domic, Cooke.
Replacements: Carvell, Thackray, Lupton, Blacklock.
Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington)