Widnes Vikings 46 Hull FC 6, Woeful Airlie Birds punished for dreadful performance

Hull FC were cut to pieces in embarrassing fashion by a red-hot Widnes Vikings as the Super League table-toppers scored 46 unanswered points after falling behind early on.

The Airlie Birds were given a harsh lesson after a controversial decision by the video referee ruled out what looked a legitimate try for Sika Manu which led to a capitulation that is not generally related to this proud side.

Coach Lee Radford restored Frank Pritchard to his match day squad and gave him his first start after he missed the narrow defeat against Wigan Warriors, Liam Watts dropped to the bench to be replaced by in-form Josh Bowden at prop.

Jordan Abdull was drafted in to replace the injured Leon Pryce and Mark Minichiello dropped to the bench having started the first four games of the season for the black and white’s.

The Vikings had an early blow when Chris Bridge had to leave the pitch with a shoulder problem after a challenge with Pritchard after two minutes.

The Airlie Birds drew first blood after six and a half minutes as Pritchard crashed through the Widnes defensive line to score his first try for his new club after a bullocking run by Scott Taylor set up the position, Marc Sneyd added the conversion for a six point lead.

Three minutes later Fetuli Talanoa was denied a try by the video referee as he dropped the ball diving for the corner.

The video referee was called into action after Abdull launched a high kick and, after Jack Logan challenged Stefan Marsh in the air the Vikings player lost the ball and Sika Manu went over, however controversially the extra official Phil Bentham ruled out the try.

The league leaders then went straight to the other end and Joe Mellor got on the end of a fast move to touchdown, Rhys Hanbury brought the scores level in the 16th minute.

Widnes then turned the match on its head after Marsh made an interception and break and, from that position an attacking kick from Kevin Brown leading try scorer Corey Thompson crossed to put the Vikings undeservedly ahead after 20 minutes, Hanbury was wide with the touchline conversion attempt.

Hull were denied another try by the video referee after 25 minutes after Manu knocked on in front of the line before crashing over.

Thompson then added his second try of the game in the 28th minute after a wide kick from Mellor saw Talanoa again out of position to allow his opposite number to gather and touchdown far too easily, Hanbury again was wide with the conversion to leave the home side with an eight point lead.

The Vikings then stretched their lead after another wide kick from Brown presented them with another opportunity for marsh to cross the whitewash after 32 minutes, Hanbury was wide with another conversion attempt.

Widnes then got a controversial try after Liam Watts appeared to pinch the ball in a one-on-one tackle but referee Richard Silverwood maintained it was still Widnes ball and subsequently Hanbury got on the end of a pass and then converted his own try to give them an 18 point lead at the break.

Brown extended the Vikings lead after 46 minutes after a mistake by Jamie Shaul from a high kick presented them with a scrum near the Hull line and the Widnes captain side stepped through the Airlie Birds defence, Hanbury took them to the 30 point mark with the conversion.

The Vikings were then given another controversial try after Marsh was awarded a second try by the video referee despite appearing to drop the ball after 52 minutes, Hanbury made it a 30 point lead with the conversion.

The Vikings hit the 40 mark as Matt Whitley crossed under the posts just short of the hour, Hanbury added the extras to make it a 36 point lead.

Marsh then got his hat-trick after a move from one side to the other and back again, Hanbury missed the conversion to leave the score at 46-6.

The Vikings were given more possession and territory with a scrum 10 meters from the visitors line despite the fact that Chris Houston appeared to knock the ball onto Danny Washbrook but a penalty allowed Hull to clear their lines.

Hull kept Widnes out for the rest of the game to at least avoid the ignominy of conceding a half century of points after their worst display for some time.

Penalties: Widnes 8 Hull 8

Goal Line Drop Outs: Widnes 1 Hull 1

Man of the Match: Hep Cahill

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Warrington Wolves 26 Hull FC 27, Airlie Birds Move Into Top 8 With Stunning Comeback Win

Marc Sneyd lived up to his £100,000 transfer fee as Hull FC gatecrashed top 4 side Warrington Wolves with a comeback few would have believed possible to move into the coveted top 8 in Super League.

Beaten by a drop goal when the Wolves visited the KC Stadium in February this time it was Hull’s turn to exact full revenge for that 6-7 defeat in dramatic style.

Hull actually started the brighter of the two sides and took a deserved lead after 12 minutes as Jordan Thompson checked his run close to the Wolves line and forced his way over next to the posts, Sneyd added the goal to give the visitors a 6 point lead.

The lead though didn’t last long as Warrington went down the other end and their captain Joel Monaghan latched onto a cross-field kick by young stand off Declan Patton to score, the conversion from Stefan Ratchford brought the score level at 6 all.

The home side then hit the front as a flowing and fast move brought a try for Ben Currie, again Ratchford obliged with the conversion and inside 3 minutes they had gone from 6 points behind to lead 12-6.

However, just as it looked like Tony Smith’s side were getting on top, Hull again wrestled back the initiative from their hosts and, after they moved the ball left then right, Setaimata Sa crashed over in the right corner, Sneyd missed the touchline conversion but Hull were back within two points.

The game was being played at a furious pace and no quarter was being asked or given as some thundering tackles had fans of both sides almost wincing.

With 30 minutes gone Hull again hit the front as more pressure on the Wolves line led to a deft little step by Sneyd and the Hull scrum half shot through the gap it created to score under the posts, he added the goal to his try and gave Hull a deserved 12-16 lead which they held until half time.

Hull had looked more aggressive and adventurous with their attack in the first half and the question was could they keep it up in the second 40 minutes.

The second half started, as the first had ended, at a frantic pace as both sides traded mistakes, possession and territory to each other.

Monaghan pounced on one such mistake by Hull as they failed to deal with basic kick to the corner, the Wolves captain got the ball down just inside the touch-in-goal line to bring his team level, the missed conversion left the score at 16-16.

Again Hull were guilty of laxity in defence a few minutes later and Gene Ormsby accepted the invitation into the opposite corner to put the home side 20-16 ahead, again Ratchford missed the kick at goal but, with less than quarter of an hour of the second half gone the Wolves had seemingly turned the match on its head.

Hull were becoming dis-organised and the home side were taking full advantage as their famous attack was in full swing, another flowing move again pulled the visitor’s defence apart and, again, Ormsby found it too easy to cross in the left corner, a touchline conversion from Chris Bridge gave Warrington a 26-16 lead.

On previous occasions, like last year and even in some earlier games this year, Hull would have caved in and let their hosts run rampant, but in recent weeks the Airlie Birds have shown great resolve to win games and that resolve was on full display again.

The first chink of light was provided once again, like last week against Salford, by Mark Minichiello as he forced his way over in the 74th minute, the goal by Sneyd brought the score back to 26-22 and gave Hull genuine hope.

Three minutes later and Sneyd raced through a gaping hole in the home sides defence inside his own half, having made the break he then passed to Tom Lineham and Hull’s top try scorer raced 40 meters, brushing off Ormsby, to crash over in the corner, the touchline conversion attempt from Sneyd missed and left the score at 26-26.

Then, in the final act of this pulsating match after a stoppage for injury, Hull set up the final play 15 meters from the Wolves line, a quick exchange of passes and Sneyd hit a priceless drop goal with just 3 seconds left on the clock to win the game and send the Old Faithful into raptures.

With their previously static attack now firing on all cylinders, and 5 wins in their last 6 games, Lee Radford’s side will now move on to their Challenge Cup 6th round tie at home to last year’s beaten finalists Castleford Tigers, next Saturday with fresh confidence and, perhaps most importantly, a winning mentality.

Man of the Match: Marc Sneyd