The Enthusiasm Of Professional Youth, With Some Seniors!

It was meant to be so cut and dried, the lambs of youth from the KC Stadium, to the slaughter by the battle hardened Warriors at the DW Stadium, but somebody forgot to tell the kindergarten team.

The regulation stuff was out the way early 6-0, 12-0, 18-0 in half an hour and inevitability seemed to be taking over with slightly slower intent than was expected but intent all the same, but still the youngsters, with their smattering of experienced players stuck to their guns.

The game plan seemed simple for Hull FC, frustrate Wigan as much as possible but suddenly they also needed to find some attacking intent or just lay down and let the home side have their wicked way and boost their points difference to the sort of magnitude that was still expected of them.

Then the Warriors learned a lesson as the break approached, if you over-elaborate near the Hull line and put the ball down, don’t do it when Jamie Shaul is in the vicinity, they did and 95 meters later they were no longer looking at keeping Lee Radford’s men scoreless.

Goal one, getting points on the board, achieved and within a blink of an eye the hugely enthusiastic kids were becoming a cat among pigeon’s as young Jack Logan made two England internationals and an assured full-back look badly out of place in a team of all the talents as he brushed them away with embarrassing ease.

A six point deficit at half-time was not supposed to be even contemplated let alone a genuine reality, as evidenced by the beast of the dugout prowling the touchline licking his lips at the opportunity to get his malfunctioning machine down the tunnel to the changing room.

With energy and direction plus a bundle of desire the young men came back out for the second half and continued to answer the questions asked of them despite the seeming lowering of the energy among the elder statesmen, Shaun Wane’s men were supposed to have them beat within the first 20 minutes of the match, surely the first 20 minutes of the second half would be decisive!?

The answer to that was a massively emphatic no, even the video referee couldn’t help the Lancashire outfit when a teenager was taken down by a prop in front of the posts.

Soon after that the prop did get on the score sheet, would that, or the surprise two points that were taken with relish shortly afterwards to give them a 14 point lead with a palpable sense of relief, be definitive?

Of course it wasn’t as simple as that, the Airlie Birds kept making more clean breaks than you normally see in a hospital accident and emergency department and the threat of tries was ever-present around the team wearing black and purple and what duly followed seemed, and indeed was, genuinely inevitable.

With thoughts of giving their points difference a major boost gone, you imagined the Warriors just concentrating on taking the sting out of the team with an average age of 21, which was pushed up by a 32 and a 33-year-old.

Then up step international cap contender Liam Watts with a big reminder of his outstanding quality and pace as the mercury level in the stadium was increased and then the reliable left foot of Marc Sneyd put the ball in the hands of Jordan Rankin and a try on the plate for the young Australian.

Surely now we could get back to normal, well until Danny Houghton’s right boot gave Logan the opportunity to leave another England international, Josh Charnley, floundering in his jet-heeled wake to make it a two point ball game.

Towards the end the home side were playing for time, desperate to hold on to their ill-deserved lead but, with the help of their departing left winger and the video referee, hold onto it they did after several squeaks of their collective cherry and white bum.

Lee Radford said: “We’re nearly there… and it’s up to us to turn that nearly into a do.”

Playing like this the silver polish will be staying locked away in Wigan again barring miracles, but a question remains and has a growing amount of voices and evidence, is an academy merger really any benefit to Super League side Hull FC on this evidence? Answers on a postcard.

The advice is watch out for the next update on Friday night when Huddersfield Giants head to Hull if you think anymore evidence is required?

Jamie Shaul

NEWS/SPORT...with James Smailes, 06/11/14  :  Hull Daily Mail Sporting Champion Awards, held at the Wilberforce Suite, KC Stadium, Hull.  Pictured, Sporting Champion Award Winner, Jordan Abdull.  Picture: Jerome Ellerby

Jack Logan Derby Match

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Hull FC 4 Huddersfield Giants 24, Coach Radford Left Seething At Team As Three Match Winning Run Halted

It’s a theme that has been all too prevalent in a stuttering season so far from Hull FC and once again the old failings reared their ugly head at the KC Stadium last night as Hull were left in 11th place in Super League.

In the build up throughout the week to this game coach Lee Radford had put great emphasis on the importance of this game for the Airlie Birds season, but ultimately he, and the fans, were badly let down by a limp performance from the players.

The big news for Hull was the return to the starting line-up of half back Marc Sneyd after a month out with an ankle injury that he picked up in the defeat at Castleford.

Former Hull player Danny Brough started the scoring in the 10th minute when he was invited to run into a gap from less than 10 meters out and he scampered in to touchdown, the 2013 Man of Steel added the extras and the Giants held a 0-6 lead.

Hull kept testing the visitors defence and should have had a penalty try when Jamie Shaul was poleaxed by a head high tackle from Craig Huby as the full-back was crossing the Giants line but, instead of giving the penalty try referee Ben Thaler decided to just give the home side a penalty and sent Huby to the sin bin for 10 minutes.

Shortly afterwards Tom Lineham appeared to get over in the corner to score but the try was controversially ruled out by the touch judge who said he was pushed into touch.

After this the 12 men of Huddersfield marched down to the other end and Ukuma Ta’ai waltzed in to give them a 10 point lead although Danny Brough missed what should have been a simple conversion.

Just before half time another former Hull player Jamie Ellis also came back to haunt them as Steve Michaels made a hash of a kick behind his own line and Ellis pounced on the loose ball to score, another goal from Brough gave the Giants a convincing 0-16 lead at half time as referee Thaler was booed off the pitch.

Half Time Hull FC 0 Huddersfield Giants 16

The home side started with more energy in the 2nd half and a greater sense of urgency but too many silly mistakes and stupid penalties given away ultimately squeezed them out of the game and the Giants comfortably took control after a frantic opening 10 minutes to the half.

After 58 minutes Michael Lawrence finished the game as he strolled through a paper thin defence and, although Brough missed another simple conversion, the Giants led 0-20 and thoughts were clearly turning to Huddersfield inflicting the same ignominy of being nilled at home on the team who did just that to them in February.

After 65 minutes Hull finally showed some invention as Fetuli Talanoa made a break down the right, he was supported by Lineham and, as they traded passes, the Giants defence finally stopped them. With the opposition defence at sixes and sevens for the first time Hull swept the ball left and finally Kirk Yeaman flicked the ball out and Michaels ensured Hull would not be held to nil as he slid in at the corner, Sneyd missed the touchline conversion to leave the score at 4-20.

To add insult to injury Jermaine McGillvary added another try on the final hooter, Brough missed the touchline conversion leaving the final score 4-24.

In the press conference afterwards Hull coach Lee Radford said, “We are not a good enough side that we can afford six or seven blokes to toss in a performance like that and expect to come away with a result.

“Six times we got down their end in the first half and in the second half the few opportunities we had we didn’t take, but for six or seven blokes to throw in that effort and those errors doesn’t win you any rugby league game.”

Hull’s almost non existent attack is clearly a massive problem as the Airlie Birds are now the lowest scorers in Super League and that was just magnified by a very well drilled defensive performance from Huddersfield.

Radford went on to say, “I expected a performance out of the players because of the magnitude of the game and the need for a result, but individual poor performances cost us,”

A performance like this means next Friday’s home game against Salford Red Devils takes on extra significance for all concerned with Hull FC, a misfiring attack clearly needs to be worked on drastically and, against an injury ravaged Salford side, nothing but a big win will be acceptable for fans, coaches and team alike.

Final Score Hull FC 4 Huddersfield Giants 24

Attendance 9,930

Man of the Match: Mickey Paea

Lineham Hat Trick Topples Vikings! Hull FC 22 Widnes Vikings 8

Tom Lineham fired Hull FC to back to back victories with a spectacular hat trick of tries against Widnes Vikings at the KC Stadium last night.

At the end of a hectic period which has seen both these teams play 3 games in just 8 days this was not vintage stuff but it was a desperate performance in which the result was all that mattered as the race for the Super League top 8 hots up.

With 2 tired teams and a very poor performance from referee Richard Silverwood this game would have been instantly forgettable if it wasn’t for Lineham.

It took less than 10 minutes for Lineham to get his first try as Jamie Shaul spun out of a tackle with outstanding footwork and then produced a superb cut out pass to put the winger in at the right corner, Jordan Rankin missed the conversion but Hull led 4-0.

Soon after Hull had another chance with a 2 on 1 overlap but the pass by Shaul was knocked down by Patrick Ah Van to bring the chance to an end.

Shaul was proving a constant thorn in the side for Widnes as he kept turning up on Leon Pryce’s right shoulder and the understanding between these two and Joe Westerman was causing their left edge defence major trouble.

Another break down the right by Hull finished with Lineham trying to find Danny Houghton with an inside pass which was intercepted by former Hull man Aaron Heremaia.

Widnes first try came in controversial circumstances as a Kevin Brown kick was clearly knocked on by Ah Van but referee Silverwood allowed play to carry on and then after the next tackle Brown sneaked his way over to score, Jack Owens missed the conversion to leave the score at 4-4 after 20 minutes.

Seven minutes later Widnes scrum half Joe Mellor produced a grubber kick close to the Hull line but knocked on over the line as he followed it up.

Just two minutes after that near miss Widnes were pressuring the Hull defence again but this time Kevin Brown tried to throw a long pass to Ah Van and Lineham intercepted and raced 95 metres to the Widnes line for his 2nd try of the match, Rankin converted this time and the home side had a 10-4 lead.

Half Time Hull FC 10 Widnes Vikings 4.

It took just 7 minutes in the 2nd half for Hull to wrap up the points, Rhys Hanbury clearly hadn’t learnt from what happened in the first half and tried to throw a long pass to Ah Van, once again Lineham plucked the pass out of the air and raced 95 metres for his hat trick, again Rankin added the extras and Hull had a 16-4 lead which they never looked like surrendering.

With 13 minutes left to play Jordan Rankin produced a grubber kick close to the Widnes line, the ball was clearly aimed at the post padding and it had the desired effect as Kevin Brown was totally wrong footed and Jamie Shaul was quickest to react to follow up and score, Rankin’s kick made it 22-4.

A few minutes later Ah Van finished impressively in the corner and the video referee awarded him the try that his performance deserved but it was mere consolation, Owens missed the touchline conversion.

In the press conference afterwards Hull coach Lee Radford questioned some of referee Silverwood’s decisions saying they left him scratching his head at times particularly when a try to Jordan Rankin was ruled out and Widnes were given a penalty for a ball strip when it was clear for all to see that it was just a loose carry and drop by Widnes hooker Lloyd White.

Asked if he was tempted to rest any senior players for the Challenge Cup match away to Sheffield Eagles next week he replied “For who? The players who played tonight are the only fit ones we have left!”

Having said that he did suggest that some of the injured players look on course to return possibly for the Super League game against Huddersfield the following week including hopefully captain Gareth Ellis and scrum half Marc Sneyd.

Final Score Hull FC 22 Widnes Vikings 8

Man of the Match: Tom Lineham

Attendance 9,295

Salford Red Devils 32 Hull FC 28 – Old Frailties Cost Airlie Birds Dear In Controversial Fashion!

Salford Red Devils 32 Hull FC 28

Hull FC slipped to a 2nd consecutive defeat on Saturday night in controversial style.

The defensive resolve that was the hallmark of previous games against top 4 dwellers Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves was suddenly, worryingly, absent.

Led around the park by the mercurial Rangi Chase the Red Devils took full advantage of the defensive lapses to secure their first win of the season.

The one positive Hull could take from the game was that their attack finally sparked into life as they scored some truly breathtaking tries, unfortunately they didn’t control Chase and the ex England player used his full bag of tricks to cut Hull’s paper thin defence apart.

Early tries From Niall Evalds and Theo Fages established a 10-0 lead for the home side before Hull finally got going as new half back pairing Leon Pryce and Marc Sneyd linked to create a gap down the left which saw Jordan Rankin cross to score in the corner.

Shortly after Evalds got his 2nd try after running a great line off Chase who fed him the ball to score, the conversion from Josh Griffin re-established Salford’s 10 point lead.

Before half time Jordan Thompson gave Hull hope as he cut through the defence and raced 25 meters through some suspect tackling to score under the posts, Sneyd converted and after the half time hooter he added a penalty to leave the score 16-14 to Salford at the break.

The second half started at a slower pace compared to the first as both sides looked for signs of weakness and it was Hull who took advantage first to take the lead as a grubber kick from Leon Pryce bounced up off a Salford leg into the grateful hands of Setaimata Sa to score.

Sneyd missed the conversion but having wrestled their way back into the game Hull threw away their 2 point lead as Chase produced a moment of magic by passing to himself and then, with a deft backhand pass, he opened the gap for Josh Griffin to score.

A few minutes later and Chase again opened up the Hull defence to put Griffin over again, although this time it seemed to be with more than a hint of a forward pass which referee Tim Roby failed to see.

With Griffin adding the extras to both his tries Salford once again held a 10 point lead at 28-18.

Once again the Hull attack sparked into life as a flowing move across the middle of the pitch led to a delicious pass from Sneyd to Put Jordan Thompson through for a breathtaking 2nd try under the posts.

With the game moving at breakneck speed again referee Tim Roby had clearly lost control of all aspects, especially the ruck.

Salford again raided the Hull line and Chase again opened the defence, this time with a blatantly forward pass, which again went unseen, to put Junior Sa’u in for the decisive try.

Shortly after that injustice Tom Lineham crashed in at the corner but, controversially, referee Roby ruled out the score for no apparent reason.

However Lineham would not be denied the next time he got over the Salford line moments later as he scored a carbon copy of the try that had just been disallowed, this time Roby awarded the try, Sneyd missed the conversion.

Huddersfield Giants 0 Hull FC 19

Hull FC started their Super League XX campaign with a resounding win over top 4 side Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium yesterday.

From minute 1 the Airlie Birds controlled their opponents and never released the grip they had on them.

Being handed penalty after penalty, possession and territory Huddersfield were afforded many chances but a cast iron defence from Hull was more than a match for what appeared to be an attack that lacked fluidity and creativity.

With 2013 Man of Steel Danny Brough having a retched game against his former club the Giants looked disjointed and never really threatened to break Hull’s vice like grip on proceedings.

Hull took the lead halfway through the first half with a well worked try. New signing Marc Sneyd worked a space on the last tackle with fast feet and passed to Kirk Yeaman, with the home defence closing in on the centre he managed to get the ball to winger Fetuli Talanoa who squeezed over in the corner.

Sneyd missed the touchline conversion to that try but was on target shortly before half time with a penalty which saw his team go into the break with a very deserved 6-0 lead.

The second half started much the same way as the first half had gone as both sides searched for weaknesses in their opposition but it was Hull who struck again on 51 minutes as full back Jamie Shaul got on the end of a deft little grubber kick by Sneyd for his first try of the game despite the attention of several Huddersfield defenders.

Huddersfield were clearly becoming more and more frustrated, Brough in particular, and the inevitable mistakes began to creep in.

Shaul made the game safe for the visitor’s in the 58th minute, skirting across the Huddersfield defensive line he suddenly raced past Brough and went through a huge gap to dash 30 meters and touchdown under the posts, Sneyd adding the conversion.

A drop goal from Sneyd put the icing on the cake and with sheer defensive resolve the black and white’s held on to stop the Giants scoring and lay a particular ghost to rest by holding a team who had inflicted a club record defeat on them less than 18 months ago to nil on their own ground.

Comparisons will no doubt be drawn between this performance and the 28-0 humiliation Hull handed to their neighbour’s Hull KR six months ago but they don’t really bare comparison, this Hull FC team look a very different proposition compared to the class of 2014 and now Super League has been warned.

Attendance 7,737

Man of the Match. Marc Sneyd

Scorers

Huddersfield:

Hull: Tries Talanoa, Shaul 2. Goals Sneyd 3 plus 1 Drop Goal