Hull FC Reserves kept up their winning run with a 34-24 victory over a strong Bradford side on Thursday night.
Another tough entertaining game of rugby league played between the two sides, it goes down as Hull’s third victory at this level over Bradford this season, but the young Black and Whites had to work for it. Momentum wise the game swung back and forth and after the home side fell behind, Hull had a rich purple patch to thank for victory. They scored six tries either side of half time to blow their opposition away, with the Bulls getting a couple either side of that.
Bradford played tough, they boasted some big lads in their side and they were physical. Hull struggled to match that early on but they got better as the game progressed.
Young prop Jack Brown played the full eighty minutes and was outstanding throughout, as did Lewis Bienek. Brown, who never looked out of place at Wakefield in Super League earlier this month, was solid, broke the line at ease and scored yet another try. His tally for a prop is impressive, but it’s his contact both with the ball and in defence, not to mention his footwork, that really impress—he always stands out at this level. Brown is still a teenager, but the potential in him is massive.
Elliot Windley, a Leeds University student was also superb when he came on. The little hooker ran Bradford ragged from dummy half, and for a first showing in the Black and White shirt that wasn’t half bad. From a sentimental point of view though the best thing about that game was Danny Washbrook rolling back the years, bending the line, offloading, and playing in a dinner jacket. He’s been a great servant to Hull and will kill it at York next season.
Washbrook had the class to put Ryan Devaney over for Hull’s first try, and after Brown glided over, the game was right in the balance. Further Hull tries came from Ben McNamara, Josh Atkinson, Charlie Graham and another for Devaney himself.
McNamara, son of former Hull player and current Catalans coach Steve, was impressive again. A steady off-half, the range in his arsenal is impressive. He can find a pass, and is good with the boot, but he takes the line on superbly as well. Another who is still raw and still a teenager, but one who was bags of time to develop and make his mark at this club.
Summer may be coming to a close now, but it was an enteratining match, played on what must be said isn’t the best of pitches at Hullensians. That said though the ball movement from both sides was good. Bradford played their role in that. It’s a part of the world that has always brought through the very best of rugby league talent – cue the Burgess brothers, Elliot Whitehead and John Bateman in the NRL. Former Hull half Leon Pryce also comes to mind.
Against solid opposition, it was another good game at this level and advocates the beneficaires of a stepping stone between academy and first team, but also the oppurunity for amateur lads to give a professional environment another chance. On that front Harvey Gotts has impressed in the Reserves all season, and whilst he was a workhorse again, it was Devaney’s chance to shine.
Kieran Smith at fullback also performed well after being part of the Hull FC foundation team that cycled to Wembley last week alongside coach Richard Tate. An incredible effort.
The younger members of the side, Ryan Johnson and Jude Ferraria to name two, also had their moments. Tough lads that got stuck in. On the wings both Atkinson and Graham were busy, with the latters try exhibiting his pace again. He’s got some wheels.
Hull showed some charactor to build themselves back into the game and deserve their plaudits for that. It’s a busy end to the season for them too, with three games coming up in September, providing there are no cancellations.
Hull Reserves Starting XIII: Kieran Smith, Charlie Graham, Jude Ferreria, Ryan Johnson, Josh Atkinson, Danny Washbrook, Ben McNamara, Jack Brown, Jordan Webster, Lewis Bienek, Ryan Devaney, Jack Bartlett, Harvey Gotts. Interchange: George Cooke, Lochlan Fitzgerald, Ryan Price, Elliot Windley.
Hull Tries: Devaney 2, Brown, McNamara, Atkinson, Graham. Goals: McNamara 5/6
Scoring System: 0-6, 0-12, 6-12, 10-12, 16-12, 22-12, 28-12, 34-12, 34-18, 34-22