Super League Round Fifteen – 30th May – Hull 46 Rovers 20 – Magic Weekend, St James Park, Newcastle
Revenge is a sweet feeling, and it doesn’t come much better than that as a magnificent Hull FC side slaughtered their fiercest of rivals by a record Derby score at Newcastle’s quite astounding St James Park.
Surpassing their previous best of 44 points back in 2008 Hull were the superior side from the off. Continuing their admirable run of seven wins in nine games, and with new attacking philosophies Lee Radford’s men were far too good for a Rovers defence manufactured in an Autoglass warehouse.
Hull were vintage, they were attractive to watch and led round the park by Marc Sneyd they were far too good for Rovers to cope with.
The ex Salford and Castleford star was a menace all afternoon. Playing behind a dominant pack field position told, and following a precise chip to the corner Kirk Yeaman got the first of his brace – in a quite admirable performance of yesteryear.
Just like in the previous Easter derby gaining ground was never an issue, though for Rovers it proved a nightmare. Helped by Robert Hicks piggy backing whistle Josh Mantellato responded, squeezing in the corner.
At the time it looked like another close contest was forming, but that was soon to change. Hull, far superior, didn’t waste their opportunities, and following a right to left shift Fetuli Talanoa was left to kick-start a personal memorable afternoon – the first of a dazzling hat-trick.
Controlling the middle to their desires Watts and Paea were once again outstanding, and with the back rowers of Ellis and Minichiello making metres for fun points were a matter of time. Be it no surprise it came from the two giants themselves, first Ellis taking a crisp Danny Houghton ruck pass before the Australian barged over himself for a commanding lead.
Though Rovers had their minimal joys, and had a sniff of a comeback as the pacey Kirean Dixon ran ninety or so metres after intercepting a Kirk Yeaman pass – the veterans only error of the game.
Not to take the gloss of a fine opening forty minutes little did it matter. 22-12 the half time score, as the Cream shirts of Hull FC got to grips with the 225th Hull Derby.
Attacking the masses of Black and White fans in the Leazes End the second half had a carnival feel to it – travelling once again in their thousands their presence was once again notable.
Roaring Hull on they didn’t disappoint. Everybody’s favourite Binman Fetuli Talanoa brilliantly finished his second score, before the equally popular Jordan Rankin finished off a remarkable breakaway try – orchestrated by the in-form Golden Oldie Leon Pryce.
After all the history of Pryce and coach Lee Radford goes back to the early 2000s, and with such a friendship behind them getting the winning combination looks now to be successful formula. With Sneyd alongside him Pryce is a figure of his old self, showing the game know-how and class Hull have lacked for years.
Losing talismanic captain Gareth Ellis midway through the second half a drop in intensity followed, though with a 22 point lead it was hardly catastrophic. First Dixon then Mantellato put some respectability into the result, but Hull weren’t done and added two further scores to a record breaking victory.
Glass shoulder city, Rovers defence went missing as Fetuli Talanoa busted out of several tackle attempts to complete his hat-trick – to the upmost joy of the travelling faithful.
Veteran and record derby try scorer Kirk Yeaman then added the gloss to a superb victory, with Marc Sneyd keeping up a fine personal showing with his seventh successful conversion – and with that the record breaking two points.
It was a flying hat-trick of tries for Hull FC winger Fetuli Talanoa. Image: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Hull Starting XIII: 32. Jordan Rankin, 2. Tom Lineham, 3. Setaimata Sa, 4. Kirk Yeaman, 5. Fetuli Talanoa. 6. Leon Pryce, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Mickey Paea, 9. Danny Houghton, 10. Liam Watts, 11. Gareth Ellis, 12. Mark Minichiello, 13. Joe Westerman. Interchange: 14. Iafeta Paleaaesina, 15. Chris Green, 21. Richard Whiting, 27. Jordan Abdull.
Hull Tries: Yeaman 2, Talanoa 3, Ellis, Minichiello, Rankin. Goals: Sneyd 7/8
Rovers Starting XIII, 2. Ben Cockayne, 1. Kieran Dixon, 5. Ken Sio, 19. Kris Welham, 4. Josh Mantellato, 23. Terry Campese, 6. Maurice Blair, 34. Tony Puletua, 24. John Boudebza, 22. James Green, 11. Kevin Larroyer, 21. Aaron Ollett, 13. Tyrone McCarthy. Interchange: 33. James Greenwood, 15. Donaldson, 22. Jordan Cox, 26. Sonny Esslemont.
Rovers Tries: Mantellato 2, Dancing Meff Dixon 2. Goals: Mantellato 2/4
Referee: Robert Hicks