The City is ours – there’s no doubt about that as Hull FC made it six Derby wins in a row with a 30-22 victory at Caravan Park.
A record sequence of wins during the Super League era, the Black and Whites have absolutely ridiculed their bitter rivals in recent times, both on and off the pitch. For the latter there’s the extra comedy value that this latest triumph was done with 12-men on the field for no fewer than 71 minutes, which adds to the hilarity of a 22-point comeback two years ago, not to mention twice sending them to the mediocrity of the Middle 8s, beating them to top the table, and of course that record points total accumulated at the Magic Weekend back in 2015.
If that’s not enough, Hull’s back to back Wembley triumphs and that famous Wembley song being firmly abolished shows you who really bosses this city. That was evident in itself pre-match, where chants of “Where’s your famous Wembley song” and “We’re the famous Hull FC and we won at Wembley” were met with a deafening silence from the East Stand. Sit down. Shut up.
On the field and the Rovers team weren’t much better. Missing: An edge defence. Last seen being continuously raped by Carlos Tuimavave. I-E-I. What a player he is. There’s a reason social media blew up more than the average on-field Danny McGuire tantrum when Hull FC announced Carlos’ contract extension a few weeks back. He’s sheer class and he showed that on a field where his afternoon was cruelly cut short by injury two years ago. The centre is dynamite. He tore Rovers to pieces and whilst he didn’t get on the score-sheet, he was the best player on the pitch by a country mile.
On the other flank Josh Griffin was solid again as he continues his fine season. His metre making ability is outstanding and he’s doing a fine job in ensuring a lot of people end the year with custard pie on their face, but don’t worry lads it’s not as bad as it sounds. Hull’s two centres were absolutely sensational and went a long way to securing a victory which seemed a long, long way away after Bureta Faraimo was sent off in the ninth minute.
By the letter of the law its contact to the head, but it wasn’t either intentional or malicious. A sending off? Was it balls. Apply some common sense. It’s a collision sport. A blood tough sport. Not every contact to the head is dangerous. There’s too many snowflakes involved with rugby league at the moment and they need to accept that these things sometimes happen, but that doesn’t mean you need to blow up like Mick Morgan’s epic spell of commentary every five minutes. It was a harsh red, but little did it matter in the end.
Of course it was the soddin’ video referee who sent Faraimo off as well, after play stopped for what seemed an eternity. Up in the box, Phil Bentham was more involved than HKR Analysis at a flag bearing contest as he constantly infringed the game, especially in the first half. The officials were a big talking point for both sides and pretty much from the start. Danny Houghton’s first try was controversial, and the decision to disallow Adam Quinlan’s try soon after Ryan Show levelled the scores was comical – in every sense as it helped us out massively. On the field Chris Kendall wasn’t much better either as he constantly stopped the game and got conned with penalties. It’s easy to take a pop at the officials as they are shocking, but the players must take some responsibility too and stop flapping around like a seal on steroids at every opportunity.
That itself had the potential to spoil the game, but it didn’t. It was a feisty eventful Derby that had a bit of everything. Luckily for us Hull FC’s ability to get the best out of a bit of adversity saw us home. That’s two consecutive seasons where we’ve won despite being a man down for a large part of the game. That’s takes character and we’ve got plenty of that. We never looked like we were outnumbered and that’s testament to our effort. We threw the ball about and never let our oppositions numerical advantage get the better of us. Fetuli Talanoa’s brace of tries were excellent, and the ball from Albert Kelly to Jake Connor was brilliant, as was his celebration goading the Rovers players as he went in for the try. Legend.
That itself, added to Jamie Shaul’s first half effort, proved to be enough. Hull FC are used to this scenario now and we defended valiantly, having enough to see out our noisy but not very successful neighbours for a sixth Derby win in a row.
Rovers Starting XIII: 1. Adam Quinlan, 5. Ryan Shaw, 22. Liam Salter, 3. Thomas Minns, 36. Justin Carney, 20. Matty Marsh, 24. Chris Atkin, 14. Lee Jewitt, 19. Tommy Lee, 10. Mose Masoe, 12. James Greenwood, 11. Maurice Blair, 13. Ben Kavanagh. Interchange: 8. Nick Scruton, 15. James Donaldson, 17. Chris Clarkson, 28. Will Dagger.
Rovers Tries: Minns 3, Shaw. Goals: Shaw 3/4
Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jamie Shaul, 2. Bureta Faraimo, 4. Josh Griffin, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 6. Albert Kelly, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Scott Taylor, 9. Danny Houghton, 23. Mickey Paea, 26. Jordan Lane, 12. Mark Minichiello, 15. Chris Green. Interchange: 13. Josh Bowden, 29. Masimbaashe Matongo, 17. Danny Washbrook, 14. Jake Connor.
Hull Tries: Houghton, Talanoa 2, Shaul, Connor. Goals: Sneyd 5/7
Hull 3-2-1 Man of the Match: 3pts Carlos Tuimavave, 2pts Josh Griffin, 1pt Jamie Shaul
Scoing System: 0-6, 6-6, 6-12, 6-18, 12-18, 12-22, 16-22, 16-28. 16-30, 22-30.
Referee: Chris Kendall