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

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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?