HULL FC 34-20 LEEDS RHINOS
Saturday, 5 May 2012
An 18-point haul for Danny Tickle helped Hull FC to a stunning 34-20 win over Leeds Rhinos at the KC Stadium this evening as the Airlie Birds got back to winning ways in style.
The in-form back rower posted the Black and Whites’ opening try of the evening and kicked seven goals in an excellent all-round performance from Peter Gentle’s men that was capped with a sensational Tom Briscoe try in the final five minutes.
Playing his 100th game for the club, the England winger danced around the Leeds defence on a mesmerising 60-metre dash to the line to score his second of the evening and finish off a resilient Rhinos outfit.
Centre Ben Crooks then scored his first try for the club in a stunning finish to an entertaining game, adding to an earlier score for winger Will Sharp.
Ben Jones-Bishop, Carl Ablett, Ryan Hall and Danny McGuire all scored for the Rhinos, but they couldn’t deny a rampant Hull outfit.
Following an injury crisis for the Black and Whites in recent weeks, head coach Peter Gentle was able to recall five of his first team players for the visit of the defending Super League champions, with Jordan Turner, Brett Seymour, Mark O’Meley, Eamon O’Carroll and Martin Aspinwall all fit to return.
Young full back Matthew Russell was also handed a debut for the Airlie Birds after joining the club from Wigan Warriors on loan during the week, while fellow 18-year-old Ben Crooks retained his place in the centres after earning his first start for Hull in their last outing against Wigan Warriors.
Meanwhile, the Rhinos kept faith largely with the side which earned them a place in the Challenge Cup quarter finals with a win against Salford on Sunday, although England international Jamie Jones-Buchanan returned to the back row after a spell on the sidelines.
Both teams started brightly and it would be the Black and Whites who had the first attacking opportunity only for Will Sharp to knock on in a promising position.
The Rhinos duly punished Hull for the error, Ben Jones-Bishop taking a long cut-out pass to cross on the right wing, although the final ball looked forward as the Hull supporters vented their frustration at the officials.
But the home crowd were cheering just minutes later as Danny Tickle converted his own score to give the Black and Whites a slender 6-4 lead, the in-form back rower taking a lovely short pass from hooker Danny Houghton to burst over to the right of the posts.
Tickle then had a try disallowed by the video referee in the following set of six, Hull marching downfield to give half back Brett Seymour the chance to put in a delicate chip into the in-goal. Tickle seemed to have gathered to score, but the try was ruled out for a knock-on.
And in what was already proving to be an end-to-end game with plenty of penalties, the Rhinos took full advantage of a fortunate one of their own to regain the lead, this time Carl Ablett taking a cut-out pass to score.
Sinfield was on target to give Leeds a 10-6 lead, but the Black and Whites came roaring once more courtesy of a Sharp try in the corner.
Strong defence from the kick-off from Hull forced the mistake from the visitors and Hull spread the ball on the fourth tackle to create the space for the winger to jink inside the cover defence to dive over.
Tickle pulled his difficult touchline conversion wide to lock the scores at 10-10, although the parity didn’t last for long as once again Hull marched downfield from the kick-off, only this time the Airlie Birds clinically took their chance to take the lead for the second time in a see-saw match.
This time, the chance was created from deep, second rower Willie Manu drawing in the Leeds defence to send young centre Crooks racing away. He kept his cool to feed wing partner Briscoe and the England international had too much pace for the cover defence as he sealed his 100th appearance for the Black and Whites with a try.
Tickle added the extras to give his side a 16-10 lead and that was the way it stayed at the break, although Crooks twice threatened the Leeds line from close range, only to be tackled narrowly short.
The second half started in much the same fashion as the first, with both sides looking threatening in attack when given the space.
Again, it was the Black and Whites who had the better of it though, although two chances in the opening 10 minutes went begging as both Manu and Russell took the wrong options when the right pass would have put teammates over.
Hull did manage to extend their lead via a Tickle penalty, however, as Russell was held down following a lightening counter attack after a Richard Whiting intercept had sent Crooks racing clear.
Whiting himself was then held up over the line after running 30 metres to leap above Brent Webb and take a towering Seymour bomb, only for the Leeds full back to recover with an excellent try-saving tackle.
Two more penalties for Tickle then stretched the scores to 22-10 as the game entered the final quarter as Hull made the most of their opportunities close to the Leeds line by keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
However, the Rhinos hit back with 15 minutes to go when Ryan Hall made the most of an extended spell of Leeds pressure to cross just inside the left touchline, but with Sinfield missing the touch conversion from out wide, Hull kept their two-score cushion at 22-14.
That proved crucial as with Leeds chancing their arm to get back into the game, the Black and Whites ruthlessly finished them off.
First, winger Briscoe grabbed his second with a typically-brilliant score as he picked the ball up deep inside his own half and weaved in and out of the Leeds defenders before sprinting over under the posts and then Crooks capitalised on a Leeds error to dance around his opposite number with a well-timed dummy to put the gloss on an impressive performance and score his first Super League try for the club.
Danny McGuire collected a chip from a scrum for the Rhinos with seconds left, but it was a mere consolation as the Black and Whites sealed a first win over the defending champions in 11 attempts.
Hull FC: Russell, Sharp, Whiting, Crooks, Briscoe, Turner, Seymour, Moa, Houghton, Lynch, Manu, Tickle, Pitts.
Subs: O’Meley, O’Carroll, Aspinwall, Ellis.
Tries: Briscoe (2), Tickle, Sharp, Crooks
Goals: Tickle (7/8)
Leeds Rhinos: Webb, Jones-Bishop, Ablett, Hardaker, Hall, Sinfield, McGuire, Leuluai, Lunt, Peacock, Clarkson, Delaney, Jones-Buchanan.
Subs: Griffin, Moore, Kirke, Smith.
Tries: Jones-Bishop, Ablett, Hall
Goals: Sinfield (1/3)
Referee: J Child