A much stronger Hull FC team took to the pitch for the second game of the double header at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster yesterday against York City Knights as preperations for the upcoming Super League season continued with urgency.
A 62-0 victory over lower league opposition was never going to mean anything other than a training run but what it did, in the context of the double header, was provide Head Coach Lee Radford and the fans with a look at the whole squad at his disposal and show where combinations are working and what deficiencies need working on before the sterner tests to come.
York stood up to the test, as expected, for the first 5 or 10 minutes before ultimately succumbing to the inevitable onslaught by the fitter, stronger, faster and more agile Super League opposition.
Stand out performances for the Airlie Birds were supplied by Setaimata Sa and Jamie Shaul while new half back pairing Leon Pryce and Marc Sneyd worked very well in conjunction with each other.
The one dark note for Radford was the removal of Jordan Rankin with what looked like a worrying shoulder injury, he will go for a scan today but the prognosis appears to be he will only be out for a few weeks rather than months.
Sa grabbed himself a hat-trick and provided the try scoring pass for Tom Lineham to score against his old club.
There was also a brace of tries for last years player of the year Fetuli Talanoa and, after coming on to replace Rankin, Jamie Shaul also scored a hat-trick.
Other tries were contributed by Kirk Yeaman and Dean Hadley in a completely one sided affair.
The difference between the hat-trick’s was that Sa’s was all about the brute force and aggression that he looks ready to unleash on Super League while the hat-trick from Shaul owed much to his sublime, silky skills and blinding pace.
Sa stood out not just because of his tryscoring but because of his obviously increased bulk and his sublime handling skills, he isn’t a centre who will go 70 or 80 metres to score a try but given a chance within 20 metres he looks capable of knocking the biggest forwards out of his way to get over the line.
Much of Hull’s attack will revolve around Pryce and Sneyd and, if this match was anything at all to go by, the black and white’s do appear to have answered that age old problem in emphatic style as both halves showed a willingness to work hard even in this easiest of stroles to victory with precise passing and kicking in particular.
With Sneyd adding 9 goals from 11 attempts Hull also seem to have an excellent new goalkicker although the returns of players such as Richard Whiting and Joe Westerman does give Hull other options in this department, along with Curtis Naughton who kicked well in the first game of the day.