Super League Round Seven – Friday 25th March – Hull KR 20 Hull FC 22 – KC Lightstream Stadium
Craven Park was in absolute astonishment as Hull FC produced a quite spectacular comeback at the home of their fiercest rivals to record their third Hull Derby victory in a row.
Trailing Hull KR 20-0 with just 21 minutes to go the Black and Whites showed little if any indication of the heroics that were to follow.
Four tries sealed the victory – the greatest Derby comeback ever and arguably the greatest in Super League’s twenty year history too.
Rovers looked game, set and match as Josh Mantellato kicked his second penalty goal for a 20-0 lead.
Ryan Shaw, Ken Sio and Iain Thornley tries had put them in total control, with Hull woeful in a dire initial sixty minutes.
But something just clicked. Hull FC took the shackles off with half backs Danny Washbrook and Marc Sneyd running at the line and causing havoc.
A complete contrast to the flat, and quite frankly abysmal offensive performance served up for the first sixty minutes, and a turnaround not even the boldest better would have took on.
Jamie Shaul gave Hull a glimmer of hope in the 61st minute, racing away for a spectacular try – and then with the momentum built up the floodgates opened.
Hull FC’s fullback was sensational, with his forty metre return after a tremendous Maurice Blair kick keeping his side on the front foot.
On a crazy unorthodox last tackle play Shaul then kicked through, with his individual chase forcing a goal line drop out.
Hull then went offload crazy – some of them undoubtedly forward – with Pritchard, Ellis, Taylor and Watts efforts ending with Houghton coasting over for an unthinkable looking try.
Shaul again probed before handing it to the returning Fonua who was pulled back after a neat kick through.
From the tap penalty Houghton expertly put Fonua over the line, with the Tongan just grounding the ball ahead of the on-rushing Ben Cockayne.
Sneyd missed his first kick of the afternoon, but there was no stopping the Black and Whites’ surge.
Shaul then continued his heroics as he quickly distributed the ball to the edges, with Mahe Fonua finding the space to twist out of the tackle to put Steve Michaels in.
Sneyd make no mistake this time with his conversion putting Hull FC ahead, with some expert game management then grinding out a quite magnificent – and after an hour played – unthinkable Hull Derby victory.
Rovers: Ben Cockayne, Ken Sio, Ryan Shaw, Iain Thornley, Josh Mantellato, Maurice Blair, Albert Kelly, Adam Walker, George Lawler, Dane Tilse, Chris Clarkson, Graeme Horne, Mitch Allgood. Interchange: James Green, James Greenwood, Robbie Mulhern, John Boudebza.
Rovers Tries: Shaw, Sio, Thornley. Goals: Mantellato 4/5.
Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jamie Shaul, 19. Stevie Michaels, 2. Mahe Fonua, 24. Kirk Yeaman, 20. Curtis Naughton, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Scott Taylor, 9. Danny Houghton, 10. Liam Watts, 12. Mark Minichiello, 23. Frank Pritchard, 11. Gareth Ellis. Interchange: 14. Feka Paleaaesina, 15. Chris Green, 22. Josh Bowden, 30. Danny Washbrook.
Hull Tries: Shaul, Houghton, Fonua, Michaels. Goals: Sneyd 3/4.
Scoring System: 4-0, 10-0, 12-0, 18-0, 20-0, 20-6, 20-12, 20-16, 20-22.
Referee: Phil Bentham