Hull FC showed plenty of encouragement in their friendly against London on Sunday afternoon – winning the game by twenty points to six.
1.. The perfect friendly
Leaving the Brantingham Park mud-bath many were more than satisfied with what they saw against London.
Hull looked solid for the majority and put points on the board too after going through the gears in the first half. The forwards got on top with Marc Sneyd and Albert Kelly polishing it all off with a decent half back link. Jamie Shaul too had his moments with a big hand in one of the tries. The shape was good.
The second half saw a lot of youth on show and they stood up to the challenge, defending their line superbly for long periods. In an ideal world some of that defending needs to be cut out through better ball retention, but as far as learning curves and development go they won’t be going far wrong. Certainly more beneficial than putting seventy points on a League One side anyway. A good run out all round.
2.. Ligi Sao debut
Signed from New Zealand Warriors, Ligi Sao was the Hull player to take the most plaudits from the game and rightly so.
On the field for two stints after starting the game at prop, the Samoan international is some physical specimen. Sao is proper mean and lean, both aggressive and mobile, and he can play too. Those Watts-like first receiver passes were thrown around like nothing, and he ran a superb line and showed some power to score his try.
As far as first impressions go Sao ticked lots of boxes and won many fans over. He dominated the middle and on that evidence he looks a bloody good signing.
3.. Putting yourself in the driving seat
These trial games are opportunities to impress, and make no mistake Bureta Faraimo impressed. The American island hopper was solid. He got the first carry of the game and smashed into the London defence like water on rock. That set the tone and his general metre making was superb.
On the other wing Ratu Naulago scored two tries, finishing a slick move for his first, before being the benefactor of a Sneyd kick for his second. He also did his fair share out the backfield.
Both wingers did little wrong and did all they could to cement a spot for Headingley. Talk about conundrums.
4. Man like Mahe
Mahe Fonua is back in Hull FC colours, playing at centre in his first appearance since recovering from a foot injury that kept him out for several months and effectively put a stop to his Wests Tigers career. Ironically he looks to have got another foot wider in his two years in the NRL, but not in the Michelin Man sort of way.
Fonua is so powerful, even if a little rusty, but his carries were solid and there were one or two moments where he put his winger into space. It’s great to have him back.
Expressing a desire to play centre, it’ll be interesting to see how Radford fits everyone in next week at Batley, presuming that Jake Connor and Adam Swift will also be given a run out. You don’t envy him here.
We’ll be seeing a lot more of Brantingham Park this season with Reserves games. It’s a kick in the teeth that A-Team fixtures aren’t played at proud rugby league community clubs, and instead at a rugby union ground out in the sticks.
Reserves is one thing though. It’s absolutely ridiculous that Hull FC had to go eight miles outside of the city boundary to play a home friendly in a field, but a lot of people would have already sussed out why. The Allams.
Hull already pay a ridiculous fee to play at the KCOM Stadium every year, and clearly they were not prepared to fork out tens of thousands of pounds for a friendly. Community Stadium? Yeah right. Remember the ground was built for the people of Hull. 40k that greedy Egyptian tosser apparently wanted. The sooner they bugger off the better.
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