Super League Round Eleven – Friday 24th April – Hull 4 Huddersfield 24 – KC Stadium
Huddersfield and in particular Danny Brough got revenge for their opening day defeat with a commanding 24-4 victory over Hull FC at the KC Stadium.
The Black and Whites with three prior wins to their name were no match for the Giants, who on the back of some pretty woeful attacking play from Hull scored five of their own – including one on the final hooter – to record a twenty point winning margin.
Boos were a clear element of frustration, as the half and full time hooters were met by a Hull crowd that is fast losing patience with the current mediocrity – and even that itself is a compliment to Hull FC, such is the severity of the current situation.
Playing with no direction, leadership or what looked like no general idea, every attempted play was choreographed and therefore predictable. There was no penetration, no zip, no energy, and it proved so with just one registered try from a number of opportunities.
It’s a sorry state of affairs that has left Hull second from bottom, with the middle eight looming – a scenario itself that with every passing week looks more of a reality. Hull seemed lost, the play of the ball was tedious, and the pivots went missing.
Everything was put in place for Huddersfield, and they didn’t waste their openings. Danny Brough of all people got the ball rolling, and it didn’t take long for Ukuma Ta’ai to extend that advantage – powering his way over in a twenty yard dash to the line. Sandwiched in-between a sin binning for prop Craig Huby as a result of a high shot on Jamie Shaul, it told as Hull couldn’t put a foot on the contest.
Tom Lineham had one ruled out, amongst a penalty try claim that was ignored – certainly dubious. Nothing went Hull’s way, but to place any blame on the five officials themselves would certainly be naïve. Interchange prop Josh Bowden lasted only several minutes before limping off, before a mess up from Steve Michaels then gave Jamie Ellis a gift, with two Brough conversions ensuring the Giants took a commanding and deserving 16-0 lead into the break.
The second half was a familiar story, chances went begging as the home crowd started to vent their lack of fortitude nor tolerance to what was on display. It was painful to endure, and a spectacle that got worse when Michael Lawrence busted through to extend the visitors lead.
The longer the game went on the sloppier it got, and was exemplified best by a wayward Marc Sneyd pass that was closer to the West Stand advertising boards than the designated target – but also by the kicking itself. Bomb after bomb, little emphasis seemed to be placed on direction, as each was disposed of easily by the Huddersfield back three. The lack of last tackle variation was alarming, and certainly notable.
Steve Michaels did prevent the embarrassment of a nillin’, finishing neatly in the left corner but a further score from a kick and chase ensured Paul Anderson’s side had the final say, taking the game 24-4 – Jermaine McGillvary the final scorer.
Change in fortunes for both, as victory put Huddersfield into the top four – some contrast for Hull FC. It’s certainly worrying times for the East Yorkshire side, as a brief resilience in terms of results is finally halted. In a tight league, there is little room for error. Competitiveness is at its peak, and unless there is an alteration in attitude prevention of the inevitable middle eight is looking less likely by each passing week.
Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jamie Shaul, 2. Tom Lineham, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 4. Kirk Yeaman, 19. Steve Michaels, 6. Leon Pryce, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Mickey Paea, 9. Danny Houghton, 10. Liam Watts, 3. Setaimata Sa, 12. Mark Minichiello, 16. Jordan Thompson. Interchange: 22. Josh Bowden, 14. Feka Paleaaesina, 34. Stuart Howarth, 23. James Cuningham.
Hull Tries: Michaels Goals: Sneyd 0/1
Huddersfield Starting XIII: 1. Scott Grix, 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 3. Leroy Cudjoe, 22. Jake Connor, 5. Aaron Murphy, 6. Danny Brough, 16. Kyle Wood, 19. Anothony Mullally, 7. Luke Robinson, 10. Craig Huby, 4. Joe Wardle, 12. Jack Hughes, 17. Ukuma Ta’ai. Interchange: 8. Eorl Crabtree, 14. Michael Lawrence, 15. Craig Kopczak, 20. Jamie Ellis.
Huddersfield Tries: Brough, Ta’ai, Ellis, Lawrence, McGillvary. Goals: Brough 2/5
Referee: Ben Thaler