Former Hull FC fullback Jordan Rankin reckons the fiery Hull Derby is bigger than Australia’s State of Origin – at least in terms of rivalry.
Rankin spent two seasons at Hull FC and played in numerous Hull Derby’s before West Tigers offered him a contract to move back to the NRL.
“There’s a big Derby over in England and it’s between Hull FC and Hull KR”, Rankin told The Locker Room.
“They are two teams in the same town and they are separated by a bridge. I’m talking Origin and these guys hate each other more. I’m not even joking.
“At Hull KR’s stadium they have fences lined up so the Hull FC supporters can sit or stand there. They can’t sit together.
“You’d have ten years old spitting at the Hull FC supporters, throwing bottles and glass.
“They are known from when they are born to hate them. Queensland and New South Wales supporters can sit together but you have guys over there that can take it personally, they hate each other.
Rankin played in three of Hull FC’s recent Derby wins over Hull KR, including the 46-20 Magic Weekend mauling, top eight securing victory and the infamous 28-0 triumph.
The Aussie fullback displayed the sort of passion that made him a hero in these parts – at least on the West side of the City after his personal heroics.
“I’ve played in these Derbies where it means more to them than anything else”, he continued.
“It’s what they want the whole year, it doesn’t matter if you lose every single game and come last as long as you win the two games against them it’s all that matters.
“I was lucky enough to be in a Hull FC team that beat them 28-0 which is the first time that happened in a long time.
“Then we beat them last year at their home ground to knock them out of the top eight. We went in the top eight and they went down.
“That was the biggest game they’d played in a long long time and we won that game and I played pretty well that day as well.
“When you go to their territory on the other side you get off the bus and they surround it. They shake the bus and they throw stuff at it.
“They spit at you. They hate you. Just because you wear different colours.”
Recalling the infamous nillin’ of 2014, an image of Rankin gloating in Travis Burns’ face went viral after a passionate and heated Hull Derby.
“I scored a try in that 28-0 win. We’ve gone up 12-0 and I’ve put someone over and gone right over to one of their players right in front of their supporters and all of sudden you see this red smoke come onto the field.
“They are throwing bottles at me and they threw a red flare on the field with about ten minutes to go so the game was stopped as security came on. It’s mental. It’s crazy.
“It was a different experience but it was unreal.”