It was never going to be a spectacle, persistent wind and rain made sure of that, but Hull FC Reserves got the job done again, beating Widnes 20-16 on Saturday afternoon.
The game had a lot of resemblance to the Reserves opener against Bradford. The weather was rancid again and the conditions meant there was an abundance of errors. It wasn’t pretty, nor was it easy on the eye, but a young Hull side at least showed some spirit and grit to eventually get past plucky opposition.
Widnes had their moments but like the hosts they found difficulty in holding the ball. In the opening exchanges there were more errors than minutes played. It was tough out there. Wind and light rain wasn’t enough either, in the second half it tipped it down too, with visibility also poor. Roll on summer and some dry tracks.
Errors persisted and any fluency with the ball was rare. It was worth the wait though. You’d be forgiven for drifting off, but both of Charlie Graham’s tries had some quality about them and James Driver also went airborne to finish off a slick cut out pass.
As for stand outs Connor Wynne, playing in the loose forward position, ran himself into the ground. His work rate was excellent and he must have made more carries than missed tackles from our noisy neighbours at Headingley last night. Breaking some tackles himself, and keeping his head, just, Wynne came off after around seventy minutes of play absolutely knackered. He put in a proper shift.
That workload was crucial as well. It was a physical battle and Hull needed some punch from their middles. Widnes had good go-forward, they took an early lead and the Black and Whites struggled to pull away from them. As they did against Bradford, Kieron Purtill’s side had late points to thank but again that shows a willingness to never give up and fight to the end. Good traits to have.
Despite a game of few openings, Jude Ferreira was impressive in the right centre spot. He set up Graham’s first try with a neat break and his offload allowed Hull’s right edge to get the ball out to the winger to score his second. Ferreira worked hard throughout and it’s telling that he had a hand in two scores.
With errors galore and consistent field position difficult to come by, it wasn’t a game for half backs to really excel but there’s something in both Ben McNamara and Jacob Hookem and it’ll be intriguing to follow their progress as the weather improves. McNamara from the tee kept Hull ticking over as well with two penalty goals and an excellent touch line conversion against the wind. Marc Sneyd watching in the dugout would have been proud of that one. Great to see the Iceman helping out the Reserves side and offering his advice and expertise. Proper club man. Proper larker too.
The Reserves side was just lacked experience. Picking up that experience is what it’s all about though and when you’re in the presence of Sneyd and another club legend in Kirk Yeaman then you must learn a thing or two. Credit to them. Hull got the job done again and given that they had to keep digging to post points it’s worthy of some praise.
It was raw. There was no Eldon Myers for this one, and Jack Brown was also missing, with Kieran Buchanan and Charlie Patterson-Lund named in the first team provisional squad for Sunday’s game against St Helens.
Hull FC Reserves play London at Hullensians next Saturday. Hopefully the wind and rain will have buggered off.
Hull Starting XIII: Marcus Waker, James Driver, Jude Ferreira, Ryan Johnson, Charlie Graham, Ben McNamara, Jacob Hookem, Ryan Dearing, Elliot Windley, Harry Bardle, Will Wallis, Jack Bartlett, Connor Wynne.
Interchange: George Cooke, Callum Rutland, Kai Tyson, Leon Stewart.
Hull Tries: Graham 2, Driver. Goals: McNamara 4/5
Scoring System: 0-4, 6-4, 10-4, 10-10, 12-10, 18-10, 18-16, 20-16