Super League Round Twenty-Two – Thursday 14th July – Hull FC vs Hull KR – KCOM Stadium
To put the latest Hull FC victory into perspective is difficult, but they’ve certainly got their mojo back. The opposition was mediocre at best but as the old sporting cliché states you can only beat what’s in front of you, and the Black and Whites did just that.
Hull absolutely battered Rovers in a commanding 36-12 victory. They gave them a right hiding up front. Simple but effective Lee Radford’s men bulldozed their way forward and scored some eye-catching tries off the back of it.
Marc Sneyd continued his rise as one of Super League’s most domineering half backs with another exceptional display, whilst Mark Minichiello was once again unplayable. Jordan Abdull meanwhile came into the side for the first time since the Easter Monday win over Warrington and put in a matured performance.
The 20-year-old pivot didn’t put a foot wrong. He distributed well and took the line on to great effect, complementing Sneyd who took the plaudits once again after another kicking exhibition.
Simply put Hull were ruthless. Defensively they were brilliant and they took ultimate pride in keeping their opposition out – exemplified best in the closing stages of the first half, and even more impressive given the then current 18-0 lead.
On the contrary and despite their eventual woes Rovers actually started the game quite well. They were energetic and looked to stretch their opponents, and of course they would have, if Ken Sio hadn’t decided to spill Kelly’s kick early on.
Like all top sides do Hull made Rovers rue their missed opportunities, and even more so as they grew into the game. Jordan Abdull went close as Hull started to get a firm foot on the contest and the games first try soon followed with ex-Hull KR prop Liam Watts storming over.
Danny Houghton then became the latest beneficiary to a pin point Sneyd kick, touching down at the North Stand end, with Mark Minichiello adding Hull’s third four pointer for a commanding looking lead.
Sneyd kept up his terrific form from the tee before briefly going off with a minor knock, as a domineering first half and in particular second quarter paid dividends for a side who were physically a notch above their oppositions capability.
Rovers threw all they could at Hull after the break, but couldn’t break through. Sneyd moved to fullback as Jamie Shaul went off, not that it effected a side clearly in the ascendency. A sweeping move put Steve Michaels over for the first of a personal brace, with the home sides ruthless dominance exceeding all expectation.
Hull continued to bust the line at ease and a fine team move was then rounded off – of course via Sneyd – by the excellent Mark Minichiello. Sneyd then converted for a 30-0 lead.
Adam Walker got Rovers off the mark as he ghosted through a huge hole for his sides first try, but Hull didn’t drop their intensity and scored again thanks to a sensational piece of centre play from Mahe Fonua.
The Tongan three-quarter was a threat all night and produced a terrific offload for Steve Michaels to race away for his second try – and a brilliant one at that.
Iain Thornley then ghosted through to offer some consolation, but Rovers were well beaten as they slumped to rugby leagues middle eight mediocrity at the hands of their biggest rivals once again.
For Hull FC it’s Derby delight for the sixth time running, as a fourth victory over the old enemy for 2016 was confirmed, and by doing so a reinstatement of their league leaders position.
Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jamie Shaul, 19. Stevie Michaels, 2. Mahe Fonua, 24. Kirk Yeaman, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 13. Jordan Abdull, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Scott Taylor, 9. Danny Houghton, 10. Liam Watts, 21. Sika Manu, 12. Mark Minichiello, 11. Gareth Ellis. Interchange: 22. Josh Bowden, 16. Jordan Thompson, 30. Danny Washbrook, 6. Leon Pryce.
Hull Tries: Watts, Houghton, Minichiello 2, Michaels 2. Goals: Sneyd 6/6
Rovers Starting XIII: 18. Ben Cockayne, 2. Josh Mantellato, 4. Iain Thornley, 21. Thomas Minns, 1. Ken Sio, 11. Maurice Blair, 7. Albert Kelly, 10. Mitch Allgood, 9. Shaun Lunt. 17. Dane Tilse, 20. James Greenwood, 13. Chris Clarkson, 15. James Donaldson. Interchange: 8. Adam Walker, 24. George Lawler, 26. Robbie Mulhern, 22. Matty Marsh.
Rovers Tries: Walker, Thornley. Goals: Mantellato 2/2
3-2-1 Man of the Match: 3pts Marc Sneyd, 2pts Mark Minichiello, 1pt Jordan Abdull.
Scoring System: 6-0, 12-0, 18-0, 24-0, 30-0, 30-6, 36-6, 36-12.
Referee: Ben Thaler