It may have only been a friendly with no competition points at stake but it’s hard not to get excited by that. Ten tries and ten goals for a total of sixty points coasted Hull FC to a Clive Sullivan Trophy victory against their local rivals in the annual pre-season showdown.
For marquee signing Frank Pritchard and co it was the perfect debut, with the towering left edge superstar dominant in a man of the match performance.
Everything the Tank touched turned into gold, as he ran and distributed through a certainly fragile and quite frankly woeful opposition defence.
Tougher challenges will uncertainly come Hull FC’s way, but on this evidence anticipation to the upcoming Super League season has rarely been higher.
Playing a more vibrant expansive brand of rugby the hosts were just too hot to handle, with debutants Sika Manu, Mahe Fonua and in particular Carlos Tuimavave impressing.
Rovers despite taking an early lead were woeful, as they failed to respond to last weeks disappointments.
Mantellato and Horne tries were sandwiched in-between Manu and Tuimavave four pointers, before Hull FC’s authority really kicked in.
With the buzz from the crowd eminent following Pritchard’s introduction, the home side flourished. Four tries followed as a blistering second quarter saw Hull race away for a commanding lead.
Showing a desire to push beyond the line in second phase attack, breakaway tries were a common affair.
Jamie Shaul was first – via an impressive Bowden break – to pounce on Pritchard’s brilliance, before Tuimavave showed his class in the centre position.
The former Kiwi junior then scored himself, before superbly breaking to supply a runaway Steve Michaels. Hull’s three quarters were certainly having a party.
Jamie Shaul rounded off a fine first half with another burst of speed, with Sneyd faultless from the tee.
Asserting their dominance Rovers were starved of possession, with Hull’s power in the tackle implemented from their starting middle throughout the interchange.
Most impressively Chris Green and Josh Bowden continued to examplify Scott Taylor and Liam Watts’ dominance, and this added with the flair and creativity observed today, will go a long way to improving the Black and Whites league position.
The Pryce and Sneyd link that at one stage looked so promising last season returned in abundance, with fullback Jamie Shaul impressing with his pass selection.
From the restart the second forty showed little indication of fortune for Hull KR, with former prop Scott Taylor scoring under the sticks. That’s the sort of afternoon it was, with Taylor’s jubilation felt throughout the crowd.
Mark Minichiello then followed on from an impressive first season with a powerful run to the line, before Lee Smith brought up the all too familiar fifty point mark, via another Pritchard assist.
Humilaition for Rovers, their recent nemesis showed no remorse. Frank Pritchard on the left edge was devastating, with the range of his offload ability to his barnstorming runs catching the crowds attention.
Frank looks the real deal, and in this mood there was no stopping him. Shipping the ball out wide Smith again broke away, with Tuimavave in support to complete his brace and round off his sides scoring.
An admirable desire to support the ball carrier was Hull FC’s biggest accolade, and following a season of frustration in that department it was all the more impressive.
Two late tries from Wembley misfit Kieran Dixon did little to take the shine away, as Hull kick started their home campaign with a real Derby thumping.
The class of 2016… Image: Leon Pryce’s Instagram
Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jamie Shaul, 20. Curtis Naughton, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 4. Jack Logan, 2. Make Fonua, 6. Leon Pryce, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Scott Taylor, 9. Danny Houghton, 10. Liam Watts, 12. Mark Minichiello, 21. Sika Manu, 16. Jordan Thompson. Interchange: 23. Frank Pritchard, Stevie Michaels, 22. Josh Bowden, 15. Chris Green, 14. Feka Paleaaesina, 30. Danny Washbrook, 13. Jordan Abdull, 31. Callum Lancaster, Lee Smith.
Hull Tries: Manu, Fonua, Shaul 2, Tuimavave 2, Michaels, Taylor, Minichiello, Smith. Goals: Sneyd 10/10
Rovers Starting XIII: 1. Ken Sio, 2. Josh Mantellato, 3. Iain Thornley, 12. Graeme Horne, 18. Ben Cockayne, 22. Matty Marsh, 7. Albert Kelly, 8. Adam Walker, John Boudebza, 17. Dane Tilse, 11. Maurice Blair, Chris Clarkson, James Green. Interchange: James Donaldson, Mitch Allgood, Ryan Shaw, George Lawler, James Greenwood, Kieran Dixon, Robbie Mulhern, Stephen Holker.
Rovers Tries: Mantellato, Horne, Dixon 2. Goals: Mantellaton 1/2 Shaw 1/2