Hull FC 46 Hull KR 20, Record Breaking Airlie Birds Dish Out Harsh Lesson to Cross City Rivals

A beaten-up Hull KR, short of several first team squad players, were made to suffer by their in-form derby rivals in the showpiece magic weekend event.

Hull FC racked up eight tries as they strolled to the highest score ever posted by either team in a competitive Hull Derby, eclipsing their previous record of 44 points set in 2008 at the KC Stadium.

As their side once again removed the shackles that had been placed on them by champions St. Helens the previous week the Old Faithful reveled in a scintillating attacking performance that was as organised as it was ruthless for the full 80 minutes at Newcastle United’s St. James’ Park stadium.

With props Mickey Paea and Liam Watts in commanding form against their former employers and ably backed up by a back row of captain Gareth Ellis, Aussie Mark Minichiello and, returning from injury, England international Joe Westerman the Hull pack created a go-forward that afforded half-backs Leon Pryce and Marc Sneyd and hooker Danny Houghton the sort of time and space one could normally only dream of having in an intense derby battle.

Hull started the scoring in the seventh minute as Kirk Yeaman rose above Kieran Dixon to pouch a cross-field kick from Sneyd to grab his 150th Super League try, the conversion from Sneyd gave Lee Radford’s men a deserved 6 point advantage.

However that lead only lasted 4 minutes as a swift passing move from the Robins, involving captain Terry Campese and centre Kris Welham, led to a try for winger Josh Mantellato, to which the Italian added a majestic touchline conversion to bring the scores level at 6 apiece.

Again the black and white’s attacked a short time after that and a deft pass saw winger Fetuli Talanoa waltz in at the corner all too easily as Dixon was caught out of position to give Lee Radford’s men the lead again, this time Sneyd hit the post with his touchline conversion attempt to leave them with a 10-6 lead.

Soon after that Campese made a break down the middle and an exchange of passes with Welham left the the centre with space to go round the outside to score a seemingly certain try, however the Rovers man inexplicably decided to go on the inside where Minichiello was waiting to put him down with a thunderous tackle.

On their next visit to the Robins line Hull again breached a near non-existent defensive line with Houghton putting captain Ellis over with a peach of a pass, Sneyd again tacked on the extras to give his side a commanding 10 point lead.

Another attack from the black and white’s looked like it could lead to another try for them until Kieran Dixon pounced to race 90 meters to bring his side back into the game, Mantellato again added the conversion to make it 16-12.

Shortly before the break Hull again pressed the red and white’s line and Minichiello threw an outrageous dummy before carrying three would-be defenders over the line with him to score, a third successful conversion from Sneyd restored Hull’s 10 point advantage at the break.

Rovers needed to score first to keep their hopes alive, however that didn’t happen as Talanoa crossed the whitewash within four minutes of the restart, the conversion from Sneyd stretched the lead to 28-12.

Two minutes after that try the game was effectively over as a break manufactured between Pryce and Houghton down the middle saw full-back Jordan Rankin outpace Dixon to get on the score sheet, another successful kick from Sneyd took the lead to 22 points with 34 minutes left to play.

To their credit the men from East Hull kept battling away to make a game of it as Ken Sio made a 70 meter break and put Dixon in for his second try although the pass to the winger did appear to be forward.

Five minutes later Mantellato also bagged a second try to reduce the deficit further, however with him having left his kicking boots in the changing room at half time, the Italian was unable to improve either try which left his team 14 points behind.

Soon after that mini revival normal service was resumed as Talanoa finished his first ever hat-trick and Sneyd’s conversion took the black and white’s through the 40 point barrier for the second time in three games.

Hull then broke the record for the highest ever score in a competitive Hull Derby as Yeaman added his second try of the game and Sneyd added a 7th conversion from eight attempts.

Man of the Match: Danny Houghton

Penalties Hull FC 6 Hull KR 5

Attendance 40,871

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Hull FC 40 Castleford Tigers 14. Airlie Birds safely into Last 8 of the Challenge Cup with emphatic victory over Tigers.

Hull FC moved a step closer to Wembley with an emphatic win against last season’s beaten finalists Castleford in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup 6th Round.

Now just two games away from a return to the national stadium a buzz seems to be developing among the fans as Hull made it 6 wins from their last 7 games with another exhibition of attacking rugby league which has been threatened many times, but not quite delivered in previous months.

Once again the talk in the build up was of the opposition having injuries but, again, the Airlie Birds were also below strength as the game was considered a week too early for Joe Westerman to come back from a Hernia operation and top try scorer Tom Lineham was also sidelined so Curtis Naughton took his place on the wing.

One player Hull did have back, after a two match suspension, was prop Mickey Paea so Jordan Thompson dropped down to the bench after starting the game at Warrington Wolves last week and captain Gareth Ellis switched from prop to loose forward.

The home side were the first to strike in the fourth minute as Curtis Naughton scrambled well to collect a loose pass and battle his way over in the corner despite the attentions of two Tigers defenders, Marc Sneyd, playing against the side he went to Wembley with last year, missed the touchline conversion to leave Hull 4-0 to the good.

After a frantic start the game started to settle down as both sides traded possession and territory until Liam Watts made a break down the middle from a sublime pass by Mickey Paea, Hull surged forward and eventually an overlap on the right led to a second try for Naughton in the 14th minute, this time Marc Sneyd added the conversion to give the home side a 10 point lead.

Another attack 3 minutes later led to a third try for Hull as the returning Paea crashed through the Castleford defence from close range, Marc Sneyd again tacked on the extras to stretch the lead to 16-0.

After that try the game became more of a war of attrition with the visitors trying frantically to break the home defence down while the black and white’s kept going through their processes and squeezed their opponents down the middle.

A mistake by Steve Michaels stepping into touch as he caught a high kick gave Castleford a scrum near the home line and Oliver Holmes eventually forced his way over but was held up by Leon Pryce.

A shocking decision by referee James Child to give the tigers another scrum near the Hull line after a knock on by Jordan Tansey eventually saw Ashley Gibson get in at the corner in the 33rd minute, the missed kick by Luke Gale left the score at 16-4.

Another attack from the visitors then saw James Clare go close at the corner before being bundled into touch by a fast moving Hull defence a few minutes later.

Another Castleford attack led to to a goal line drop out from Hull but the half time hooter sounded before they could try another attack and the black and white’s went into the break with their 12 point lead intact.

The second half started with a mistake by Mickey Paea dropping the ball early giving the visitors a scrum in the Hull half and the resulting attack saw James Clare squeeze in at the corner 3 minutes into the half, this time Luke Gale added the conversion to bring the Tigers back within 6 points.

Hull attacks were becoming rare and on their next visit to the Castleford line Leon Pryce knocked on over the line.

Castleford then strolled down the other end and a high kick was lost by Hull and Mike McMeeken took advantage to stretch over after 47 minutes, Gale again missed the kick to leave a slender two point advantage for the home side.

The tigers were looking much more organised and fluid in attack than they had in the first half and some very contentious decisions were all going their way as well.

Referee James Child was certainly making himself extremely unpopular with the home fans with some genuinely bizarre decisions particularly when he penalised the home side for infringements that went unpunished for the tigers.

A long break for an injury to Jordan Thompson, which ended with the Hull man being stretchered off, seemed to take the sting out of the visitors and Hull started to assert themselves again.

A good forward charge by Richard Whiting then set up the position for Hull to attack and a fast cross-field move ended with Jordan Rankin joining the attacking line to race in at the corner in the 62nd minute, the missed touchline conversion from Sneyd left Hull with a 20-14 lead.

Just five minutes later Hull were awarded a rare penalty in front of the posts and Sneyd duly obliged to give them a two score advantage.

A few minutes after that Curtis Naughton took the ball from dummy half and completed his hat-trick with a memorable try to increase Hull’s advantage, another goal from the ever reliable Sneyd made it 28-14 with less than nine minutes remaining.

The game was over a few minutes later as Jordan Rankin grabbed a second try which was goaled by Sneyd to take the score to 34-14 with six minutes left.

In the dying embers of the game Hull were still attacking and club stalwart Kirk Yeaman crossed the whitewash, to which Sneyd added a simple conversion to bring up the 40 score with the final act after the hooter.

Attendance 6,715

Penalties 5-5

Goal Line Drop Outs 1-1

Man of the Match: Curtis Naughton

Hull FC 24 Salford Red Devils 20. Airlie Birds Claim Fourth Win in Five Games

Despite all the talk in the build up and a request from the visitors to postpone the game due to an unprecedented injury crisis it was the home side who started under strength with Jamie Shaul pulled out on the day of the game and naming two teenagers in Jordan Abdull and Bobby Tyson-Wilson in their 17. Jordan Rankin was recalled in place of Shaul.

Salford had the first attacking opportunity after being given a penalty in the Hull half for obstruction and Kevin Locke duly obliged with the first try in the 4th minute after claiming a cross-field kick to score, Theo Fages added the conversion to give the Red Devils a 0-6 lead.

Another penalty to Salford for offside led to another attack and then given a 3rd penalty in the opening eight minutes Fages obliged to give the visitors a 0-8 lead.

It took until the 19th minute for Hull to get their first penalty which soon led to a 2nd penalty and some pressure on the Salford line which ultimately proved fruitless for the home side.

Hull’s attack was again looking almost non existent in the first half with chances being frittered away because of a lack of structure and cutting edge.

Hull finally opened up the visitors defence with a chip over the top by Marc Sneyd and Tom Lineham dived in at the corner but the try was very harshly ruled out by the touch judge who said he managed to get a foot in touch despite being off the ground, however the winger made up for it a minute later when he raced in at the corner on 31 minutes before being sin binned for talking back to the officials as he celebrated the try, a goal by Sneyd brought the hosts back to within two points.

As the first half wore on Salford’s intensity seemed to be waning and the Airlie Birds increased theirs but it was the visitors who went into the break with a two point lead.

A harsh penalty to Salford set up the first attack for the visitors 3 minutes into the 2nd half and led to a soft try for James Greenwood, the conversion from Fages saw the visitors leading 6-14.

Back to back penalties for Hull then led to pressure on the visitors line and Fetuli Talanoa crashed over in the 51st minute, the resultant conversion from Sneyd again brought the black and white’s back within two points.

After 58 minutes the Red Devils were in again as a grubber kick by Fages was followed up and touched down by Oliver Gildart the conversion by Fages stretched their lead to 12-20.

Hull’s attack seemed to be carrying on in the same vein in the 2nd half with a genuine lack of aggression and snap and as a result the Red Devils were being afforded time and space with ball in hand.

After 64 minutes however a rare structured attack from Hull led to a try from Mark Minichiello the conversion from Sneyd brought the score back to 18-20.

With 9 minutes to go Jordan Rankin was held up over the line but the disappointment only lasted a few seconds as Setaimata Sa bashed his way through the Salford defensive line to score under the posts and give the home side the lead for the first time in the game, the goal from Sneyd stretched the score to 24-20.

Despite a frantic last 5 or 6 minutes Hull held on for their fourth win in five games to slightly ease the pressure on coach Lee Radford and put themselves back within striking distance of the much coveted top 8 in Super League.

A collective sigh of relief was almost tangible in the KC Stadium at the end of what was not a great game but one in which Hull at least did what they needed to and proved they can see a game out.

Attendance 9,385

Man of the Match Jordan Rankin

Penalties Hull FC 13 Salford Red Devils 7

Goal Line Drop Out Hull FC 1 Salford Red Devils 3

Sheffield Eagles 12 Hull FC 34, Airlie Birds Safely Through to Home Tie in 6th Round

In a weekend that was littered with potential banana skins, including one which saw a top 4 Super League side dumped out by Championship opposition, Hull FC safely negotiated a tricky away game against Championship high-flyers Sheffield Eagles in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup 5th round.

With Joe Westerman withdrawing on Saturday coach Lee Radford gave a competitive first team debut to Under 19s prop Bobby Tyson-Wilson from the bench and switched Jordan Thompson to Westerman’s position at loose forward and brought back injured pair Liam Watts at prop and centre Kirk Yeaman on the bench.

The game started with Hull’s forwards making big yards down the middle and the spirited Eagles fighting for every inch they earned and defending very strongly.

About halfway through the first half Mark Minichiello scored his first competitive try for the club since arriving on these shores, Jordan Rankin missed the conversion to leave Hull leading 4-0.

A few minutes later Mickey Paea crashed his way through the championship sides defence to score down the left hand side, Rankin was successful this time with his kick to move the black and white’s into double figures.

Shortly after that Steve Michaels was pulled down just short of the try line after making a break in the Eagles red zone, from the resultant play-the-ball Tom Lineham squeezed over in the corner and Rankin stretched the lead to 16 points with a majestic touchline conversion.

About 5 minutes before half time Leon Pryce made a fast break down the Hull right and slipped a pass to Jamie Shaul, who was one of four in support, and the full-back raced in unopposed under the posts, the goal from Rankin gave Hull a 22-0 lead at half time and effectively finished the game as a contest.

Half Time: Sheffield Eagles 0 Hull FC 22.

The 2nd half started with the Airlie Birds in casual mood with the game already sewn up and the Eagles in determined mood to avoid a hammering that their performance didn’t deserve and, as a result, the home side started a mini comeback.

The first points of the half came as Sheffield half back Cory Aston was controversially awarded a try despite dropping the ball over the line, the conversion from Dominic Brambani made it 6-22.

Soon afterwards giant centre Menzie Yere scored the Eagles 2nd try and brought them right back into the game, another goal from Brambani brought the Eagles back within 10 points of their Super League opposition and a comeback seemed possible.

With play fluctuating between one end and the other mistakes on both sides kept chances at a premium until Jordan Rankin produced a deft little kick which was jumped on by Yeaman for him to score on his first game back from injury, another goal by Rankin made it 12-28 to the visitors.

There was time enough left for Rankin to score as well as he made a break in broken field and finished off the scoring with his try and goal making it 12-34.

In the draw for the 6th round this evening Hull have been drawn at home against last year’s runners up Castleford Tigers which is due to be played on the weekend of 15th to 17th May.

Man of the Match: Jordan Thompson

Attendance: 1,620?

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

Hull FC 33 Catalans Dragons 22

Hull FC returned to winning ways after a run of four successive defeats with a win over Catalans Dragons that was much more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

A physical opening saw Leon Pryce clattered to the floor less than two minutes into his first game against his former club but Hull failed to take advantage with an early opportunity in the Catalans red zone.

Showing strength and pace and a willingness to work hard the Airlie Birds took the game to the visitors and seemed very much in charge of proceedings despite a failure to score until, against the run of play, Vincent Duport scrambled over in the corner to give Catalans the lead after 15 minutes, Thomas Bosc added the conversion to make it 0-6.

Catalans lead was short lived as Bosc tried to throw a ridiculous pass which Hull scrum half Marc Sneyd gleefully intercepted and raced 40 metres to score his first try for the black and whites, he then added the extras to bring the score level at 6-6 after 22 minutes.

Again Hull began to assert their authority on the game with their forwards making big yards rather too easily causing the Dragons to have to do too much tackling.

With 8 minutes to go to half time Hull hit the front. Danny Houghton scooted out of acting half, Pryce then followed suit before putting Jordan Rankin through a gap, Rankin held of 3 or 4 defenders to score, Sneyd missed the goal to leave Hull with a 10-6 lead.

Soon after that try on the left Hull then cut the Catalans defence apart down the right with a beautiful flowing move involving Pryce and Rankin again before Steve Michaels showed Catalans a clean pair of heels to race in from 30 metres, Sneyd added the goal and suddenly from being 6 points down Hull had a 10 point lead.

A few minutes later more fast hands between Sneyd and Rankin put Fetuli Talanoa in at the corner for their third try in six minutes, Sneyd kicked the touchline conversion to give Hull a 22-6 lead with two minutes to go to half time.

A bad mistake by Sneyd right on the hooter gave Catalans cheap ball and Bosc raced in to make it 22-10 at half time.

Half Time Hull FC 22 Catalans Dragons 10.

It took Hull just five minutes in the 2nd half to extend their lead as a fast passing move between Rankin and Michaels put Tom Lineham away and, despite obviously carrying an injury, the winger raced 35 metres to cross the whitewash, another Sneyd goal made it 28-10.

Lee Radford’s men finally appeared to be playing with some freedom and confidence in each other and after 56 minutes another fast move across field led to Lineham flying through the air to touchdown again in the corner to make it 32-10 and leave the game seemingly wrapped up and done.

With 16 minutes left to play Catalans were given hope as they took advantage of a loose ball to move downfield for a try by Morgan Escare but it was a very controversial try as Danny Houghton had clearly been taken out off the ball and there was also seemingly a knock on by Catalans in the build up, the goal from Bosc made it 32-16.

With 73 minutes gone Sneyd added a drop goal to make it 33-16.

In the final minute Leon Pryce saw yellow for a seemingly unfathomable reason but from the resultant penalty Catalans went downfield and Zeb Taia crashed over, the conversion from Bosc gave a final score of 33-22 that somewhat flattered the visitors.

Penalties 6-6

Goal Line Drop Outs Hull 1 Catalans 3

Man of the Match Leon Pryce

Attendance 11,994

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.