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 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

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?

Injury Ravaged Hull Wilt Under Leeds Master Class Hull FC 12 Leeds Rhinos 43

Injury ravaged Hull FC put up a brave show in the first half but ultimately fell to a thumping defeat against In Form Leeds at the KC Stadium last night.

With Jordan Thompson, Setaimata Sa and Richard Whiting already missing from last Saturday’s defeat at Salford the Airlie Birds were dealt a further injury blow when Liam Watts had to pull out during the warm up due to a hamstring injury.

With back rower Jansin Turgut drafted in at the last minute to replace Watts to make his first team debut and half back Jordan Abdull brought in on the day of the game the preparations were, at best, disrupted somewhat for Lee Radford and his team.

With the allegations made in Australia regarding Steve Michaels also weighing heavy it has genuinely been a week to forget for everybody at Hull FC.

Having said that the home side made a bright start with new half back pairing Leon Pryce and Marc Sneyd causing the Rhinos defence all manner of problems.

Aggressive up front, organized at the back and with the time and space afforded to Pryce and Sneyd Hull started with clear intent and Leeds clearly had major problems even just trying to get out of their own half.

After repeat sets Hull scored the first try when a clever chip to the in-goal area from Sneyd was collected by Pryce who duly beat a flurry of Leeds bodies to touchdown for the try, Sneyd converted to make it 6-0.

Shortly after that try Sneyd provided another deft chip which looked to bring Michaels his first try but he was just held up over the line by frantic Leeds defence.

One warning sign for Hull was that they were needing to bring interchanges on earlier than normal including Turgut coming on for his debut when he replaced Mickey Paea after 17 minutes.

When Leeds did get into the Hull half of the field the visitor’s attack looked to be at sixes and sevens and very disorganized against a well marshaled defence which was shown abjectly when, after several passes across field, Danny McGuire was forced into touch.

Hull attacked again and another Sneyd kick caused panic in the Leeds defence and ended with Tom Lineham scooting in at the corner only to be denied by the video referee due to at least one of his team mates being offside.

This didn’t stop Hull as they were given a scrum shortly after which allowed them to build pressure in the Leeds half again. The pressure told as Leon Pryce beat at least three defender’s and stretched out to score his 2nd try of the night and the 200th try of his remarkable career, Sneyd converted to make it 12-0.

Half Time. Hull FC 12 Leeds Rhinos 0.

The tone for the second half was set within 45 seconds of the restart as Brad Singleton made a break too easily and, with a hint of a forward pass, he sent Danny McGuire scampering over to score, Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield duly obliged with the kick to make it 12-6.

A few minutes later Singleton himself was put over, again with a dubious pass, again Sinfield converted to make it all square at 12-12.

Hull tried to wrestle control back and a barnstorming run by Mark Minichiello nearly brought a try but he was held up just short, with the next play Tom Lineham poked a kick through but Sinfield picked it up but was caught in goal to force a goal line drop out.

Minutes later Leeds went down the other end with a blistering break by Kallum Watkins and he put McGuire through for his 2nd try with a blatant forward pass, Sinfield converted to make it 18-12 to the Rhinos after 53 minutes.

Shortly after the writing was on the wall for Hull as Singleton put Watkins through a big gap to score, Sinfield converted again to make it 24-12.

A few minutes after that Kylie Leuluai barged his way over from close range, Sinfield again added the conversion to take the score to 30-12.

Hull were all over the place and the short turnaround and disrupted build up were clearly having an effect and, as a result of this, Leeds smelt blood and went straight for the jugular.

A break from Zak Hardaker led to a try under the posts for Rob Burrow, Sinfield added the obligatory conversion to make it 36-12.

Sinfield added a drop goal after 74 minutes and then another flowing passing move from Leeds again opened up the Hull defence but Burrow dropped the ball with the line begging.

He made up for it a few minutes later as he poked a little kick through the defence and followed up to score, Sinfield made it 7 from 7 with the conversion to complete the scoring.

In the post match press conference Leeds coach Brian McDermott said: “Hull were almost unplayable in the first half, at half time we needed to change things.

“They were quicker to the ball and doing lots of very good things, we knew we had to stop them doing those things,”

Asked if he had any problem with a player who has been accused of drug offences being in the opposite team he replied: “Unless you can prove he’s guilty I don’t have a problem seeing his name on the team sheet,”

Hull coach Lee Radford said it was a smart move by Leeds to save their interchanges until the 2nd half.

He also spoke about the short turnaround having an effect and the disrupted preparations for his team.

Asked about what he thought to Jansin Turgut’s debut he said: “It was a difficult game for him to come in, it wasn’t ideal having to give a kid a debut when somebody pulls out 20 minutes into the warm up.

“Gaz Ellis wouldn’t normally have played but he put his hand up and said he would,”

He also said that nobody has been in touch with him regarding Steve Michaels.

Speaking about the player’s out injured he said he needs to speak to the physio and see when he can get some of them back.