That was cold. Cold enough to make standing in the Zeebrugge End terrace on Good Friday feel like a trip to Perpignan in the summer. But despite the snow and the Baltic temperatures floating about the KCOM, it was a good run out for a Hull FC team who showed some positives to record a 24-10 win.
It’s pre-season after all and you can take what you want from it. Ask that question to an East Hull resident after last weekends win and they’ll tell you they’re heading to Old Trafford. But ask a Hull fan, and they’ll have no serious concerns to suggest this upcoming season is going to be anything different than the two ones prior.
The Black and Whites seem to have adequately replaced Mahe Fonua with a real exciting prospect in Bureta Faraimo. He’s a unit, and he’ll cause mayhem to opposition defences this year. Then there’s Mickey Paea and we all know what a class act he is. The prop carried strongly all afternoon, as did youngsters Masimbaashe Matongo and Ross Osborne, but amongst all that, it was pleasing to see some combinations clicking so early in the season.
The Sneyd/Kelly link blossomed on several occasions, and allowed to stretch further by a third option of distribution in Jordan Abdull, it brought with it some excitement. That itself was probably the most intriguing name on the team sheet, especially with Hull’s tendency to play with a third middle in the loose forward role rather than a ball player. It’s an option one would hope to see again before the year is done too, as it brings with it more fluency and creativity – at least on that evidence, and it allows the pivots to get the ball to the three-quarters more effectively. But regardless of all that, Sneyd’s other qualities came to the fore too. How about that try saving last ditch tackle in the first half?!? It brought with it the best rendition of Sneeeeeeeeeeydd of the afternoon. Great stuff.
Getting a lot of ball throughout the match, one of these three-quarters in particular, Josh Griffin, gave another solid account of himself. He’s looked really tidy in pre-season, and he seems to have the right attitude to fight for a place in the matchday squad. The same can be said of a sequence of players, and with seven of them still watching in the stands, it shows that Hull have some quality beyond their first choice line up. Something that will come to fruition throughout a long and energy draining campaign.
After shining so brilliantly last week, Jake Connor again showed some magic touches. He’s comfortable in both the centre and half back positions and has all the components in his locker. Going to be a massive player for Hull over the next few years. The fan club really is blooming.
And amongst all the individual performances, it’s good to see that Radders has some options at his disposal. There’s some quality and power here – that was exemplified through both first half tries. Catalans didn’t offer much, but Hull didn’t let them, thanks to some strong defensive efforts. That continued in the second half with the home side also getting posting three more tries. Hull did a lot, probably more than first desired, defending on their own line, and like last season, this seems to be as strong as ever.
With the side still in pre-season (and let’s not forget we have players still in the infancy of it), there’s obviously a lot more to come, but for a trial match, and especially given the heavy snow falling throughout the match, it was a good display, but for now at least, all eyes are pointed towards the Super League opener against Huddersfield.
Hull Starting XIII: 28. Hakim Miloudi, 2. Bureta Faraimo, 14. Jake Connor, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 6. Albert Kelly, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Mickey Paea, 9. Danny Houghton, 29. Masimbaashe Matongo, 25. Jansin Turgut, 11. Dean Hadley, 16. Jordan Abdull. Interchange: 4. Josh Griffin, 17. Danny Washbrook, 20. Brad Fash, 24, Jack Logan, 27. Jack Downs, 26. Jordan Lane, 31. Ross Osborne, 30. Cameron Scott.
Hull Tries: Faraimo, Paea, Griffin, Downs, Talanoa. Goals: Sneyd 2/5.
Catalans Starting XIII: 1. David Mead, 2. Jodie Broughton, 21. Iain Thornley, 4. Brayden Wiliame, 5. Found Yaha, 29. Samisoni Langi, 6. Luke Walsh, 10. Remi Casty, 9. Paul Aiton, 8. Sam Moa, 15. Benjamin Garcia, 12. Benjamin Julien, 13. Greg Bird. Interchange: 14. Julian Bousquet, 17. Jason Baitieri, 18. Vincent Dupourt, 19. Mikael Simon, 20. Antoni Maria, 22. Lucas Albert, 23. Alrix Da Costa, 33. Lewis Tierney.
Catalans Tries: Broughton, Tierney. Goals: Yaha 0/1, Albert 1/1.
Scoring System: 4-0, 10-0, 10-4, 16-4, 20-4, 20-10, 24-10.
Attendance: Around 1,500 max, and that’s being kind
Referee: Ben Thaler
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