Hull Kingston Rovers got the better of a very raw and inexperienced Hull FC side at the KCOM Stadium, recording a 40-16 victory to win the Clive Sullivan Trophy.
What Hull FC’s agenda was to get out of the fixture was clear, and despite the disappointing nature of a defeat to their bitter rivals, there’s a sense of positivity in some of the younger contingents performances.
Take Connor Bower for example – a first senior try and a display of such prominence that Radford has already added him to the Portugal training camp that comes later in the month.
That’s what it’s all about. Masimbaashe Matongo and Brad Fash also impressed, as did half back Jack Wray, who again gave a good indication to his intriguing future.
But on the other hand the defeat was made in a scenario that will never occur again in the future, as the likelihood of that side featuring together in a Super League game is almost impossible.
There were suggestions of certain younger players looking capable to step into an already established line up, and they certainly enhanced that statement with their displays, but on a whole the result obviously didn’t lie.
Rovers were much the better side. They were slick with their attack and cut Hull open. Adam Quinlan had his moments, as did Jamie Ellis, but ironically on loan FC star Jordan Abdull was the games standout.
Deserved winners, some quarters in East Hull will be saying promotion is in the bag and Hull are doomed for relegation after that – as ludicrous as it sounds. In all honesty though it does make you wonder what friendlies are for? Game-time? Trying out combinations? Plays? Fitness? All will probably come into consideration, and all have an importance, yet with a hindsight, I’m sure all Hull fans would have loved a different a more mixed youth and experience approach now.
It took fifteen minutes before the games first try as both sides played out their sets with little risk. Adam Quinlan, familiar to the top flight after a spell with St Helens, got the game’s first try, and soon after Jamie Ellis stormed over for a 10-0 lead.
Though the first half action was all about one man – Albert Kelly. Of course jeered, cursed and booed by the North Stand every time he touched the ball, Kelly produced one moment of magic to score his first try for his new club. A great solo effort, he looked to get involved, ran at the line, and brought his outside backs onto the ball.
His venture though was only one half long, as Hull toyed with their under-23 side after the break, after suffering a third Rovers try, this time by new recruit Danny Addy.
David Hodgson and Andrew Hefferan tries soon followed, but missed conversions kept Hull within reach at 24-6.
After some neat individual defensive work, Connor Bower responded for Hull with his first senior try, thanks to slick hands from Jack Wray and Jansin Turgut. The latter gave another feisty display, indicating he’s ready to give Super League a decent crack this year.
Rovers though responded with a superbly took try brace from teenage City of Hull Academy winger William Oakes – both created by Abdull, who continued to run riot.
Mike Adlard then got one back for Hull, but George Milton then dived over just before the final hooter for a comfortable Rovers victory.
Hull Starting XIII: 20. Curtis Naughton, 19. Steve Michaels, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 23. Nick Rawsthorne, 34. Jack Sanderson, 6. Albert Kelly, 36. Jack Wray, 22. Josh Bowden, 30. Jez Litten, 15. Chris Green, 17. Danny Washbrook, 25. Jansin Turgut, 16. Jordan Thompson. Interchange: 29. Masimbaashe Matongo, 27. Jack Downs, 11. Dean Hadley (unused), 28. Brad Fash, 33. Connor Bower, 26. Callum Lancaster, 35. Michael Adlard, 32. Jordan Lane, 31. Ross Osborne, Marvin Lee, 37. Zeus Silk, Josh Wood.
Hull Tries: Kelly, Bower, Adlard. Goals: Rawsthorne 1/2, Wray 1/1
Rovers Starting XIII: 1. Adam Quinlan, 5. Ryan Shaw, 22. Andrew Heffernan, 4. Liam Salter, 31. David Hodgson, 16. Jordan Abdull, 7. Jamie Ellis, 8. Nick Scruton, 9. Shaun Lunt, 17. Mitch Clark, 11. Maurice Blair, 10. Chris Clarkson, 13. Danny Addy. Interchange: 15. James Donaldson, 3. Thomas Minns, 21. Robbie Mulhern, 27. Will Oakes, 19. George Lawler, 26. Kieran Moran, 30. Joe Cator, 28. Liam Harris, 25. William Jubb, 23. George Milton.
Rovers Tries: Quinlan, Ellis, Addy, Hodgson, Heffernan, Oakes 2, Milton. Goals: Shaw 1/4, Ellis 3/3, Abdull 0/1
Scoring System: 0-6, 0-10, 6-10, 6-14, 6-18, 6-24, 10-24, 10-30, 10-36, 16-36, 16-40.
Attendance: More than City got yesterday
Referee: James Child