Hull FC won their tenth Super League game of the season on Friday night, defeating Salford 35-32 at the KCOM Stadium.
Here are the Five Things Up the Cream learned.
1.. Lets talk about Albert Kelly
Albert Kelly was unplayable at times on Friday night. The Australian put in another outstanding performance to earn his McDonalds chicken nugget sharebox.
Scoring two tries, his running game was on point, whilst he also showed more desire to get on the end of Marc Sneyd kick to put him in double figures for the season.
Into his third year at the club all the unwashed said Kelly would be off the rails by now, but he’s still producing the goods.
The best free signing ever. He’s right up there with Hull’s best imports in the modern era. A class act who is fully enjoying his rugby.
2.. A wins a win
Hull FC in theory were in command with a half time score of 28-12, but they never quite seemed in full control. Despite five first half tries Salford were a threat too, and once they got a numerical advantage they posted three quick fire scores in a late comeback.
Obviously from a Hull point of view it’s annoying we let them back in the game, but it’s also a testament to Salford, they never give up and they don’t go away. Previous Salford teams would have crumbled but this one is built of stern stuff. You can only applaud that.
That was the first time in which Lee Radford has had the beneficiary of naming the same side for a consecutive week in a whopping 129 games. A mental stat.
Once we get some continuity the inconsistent nature of the side might solve itself. It’s no excuse for some of the defeats, but it’s a whole lot easier familiarising yourself with the same combinations.
The injury cloud is drifting away now and Hull only had a handful of players missing. Long-term absentees are now playing regularly again and that’s massive going into the second half of the season.
It would be great if Hull could have a full fit and fresher squad going into the Challenge Cup semi-final and then Super League play-offs. Dare to dream.
4.. Ratu! Ratu! Ratu!
It would have been good odds to place a bet that Ratu Naulago would become a cult hero at Hull FC this year before pre-season got underway back at Doncaster in January.
The Fijian was an unknown quantity back then but right now the 27-year-old is making a name for himself.
His try against Salford was nothing short of sensational. The speed shown was devastating. Niall Evalds is no slouch either and Ratu absolutely burned him.
It was a great try. The sort of speed many fans and certainty this publication have longed for.
It’s not only that either. Naulago is safe under the high bomb and works hard. He’s a breath of fresh air and hopefully Hull and the Army can sort something out for 2020 and beyond.
5.. A costly win?
Hull FC got two much-needed points against Salford but the win could have some setbacks for next week’s game at Castleford.
Josh Griffin was sent off for a dangerous throw and given he was only off the field for a few minutes a further ban could follow. Hopefully his past record will be taken into consideration. He’s not a vicious player.
An incident between Griffin and Robert Lui was also put on report but it would be madness if anything came of that. It was just two blokes going for the ball in slippery conditions.
Elsewhere Chris Green was sin binned for fighting but that punishment should probably be sufficient.
Joe Westerman also hurt his shin after feeling the full force of Pauli Pauli’s studs, whilst Andre Savelio and Danny Houghton were both taken off late on as a precaution – ironically that’s when Salford hit their purple patch. Hull are just a completely different team with Houghton on the field.