Match Report: Hull FC 34-10 Leeds Rhinos
The Black & Whites made it three wins on the spin with a memorable victory over Leeds Rhinos as they returned to the KCOM Stadium after a month away.
The Rhinos got out the blocks the quickest with two early scores, but Hull hit back remarkably with five of their own before the break - four coming in the space of just 13 minutes.
Hull showed resolute defence in the second-half to keep the West Yorkshire side scoreless for the remainder of the game, with Albert Kelly and Marc Sneyd showing a game-management masterclass throughout.
The Black & Whites were boosted by the return of Scott Taylor from suspension, and Jamie Shaul who recovered from a head-knock that saw him miss last week’s victory over Huddersfield.
Meanwhile, Gareth Ellis retained his spot in the squad for the third game running and started on the bench.
Ratu Naulago also made his home debut for the Black & Whites after impressing over the last fortnight, bagging three tries in two appearances against the Warriors and the Giants.
Hull got off to the worst possible start against the Rhinos, conceeding after just five minutes. Harry Newman, who was brought into the starting line-up last minute, barged his way through the Hull defence touching the ball down in the corner.
Minutes later, Leeds where in again scoring in the same corner through Tom Briscoe. Lolohea missed the conversion on this occasion leaving the score 10-0 to the visitors inside ten minutes.
A shell-shocked Hull though were soon back on track. On his KCOM Stadium debut, Ratu Naulago got Hull on the scoreboard latching onto an exquisite Albert Kelly pass for a free run at the Leeds try-line. Sneyd was on hand to convert the kick.
This signalled the start of a Hull masterclass, scoring a further four tries in dominant ten minutes spell. A try apiece for Masi Matongo, Marc Sneyd, Jamie Shaul and Albert Kelly saw the home side lead 30-10 at the interval.
Matongo crashed over from close range, while Sneyd and Shaul breakaway efforts showed Leeds’ early efforts dashed.
At the start of the second half it was once again Leeds maintaining the early pressure however this time they were unable to capitalise as Hull’s defence remained resolute.
The only try of the second period went to the hosts just before the hour mark. After a scruffy piece of play, Bureta Faraimo was able to play a grubber kick into the Leeds area as Dean Hadley arrived on scene to touch the ball down with his fingertips on his return to action.
On the night, Gareth Ellis made his return to the KCOM stadium after coming out of retirement a fortnight ago. However, after a heavy challenge he was taken off just after half time for concussion tests.
Despite chance going both ways, the game remained without another score until the final whistle as Hull saw out a deserved win over Leeds Rhinos.
Full-Time: Hull FC 34-10 Leeds Rhinos
Hull FC: Jamie Shaul, Ratu Naulago, Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Bureta Faraimo, Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd, Mickey Paea, Danny Houghton, Masi Matongo, Mark Minichiello, Sika Manu, Joe Westerman.
Interchange: Scott Taylor, Dean Hadley, Jordan Thompson, Gareth Ellis.
Leeds Rhinos: Jack Walker, Tom Briscoe, Harry Newman, Konrad Hurrell, Ash Handley, Tui Lolohea, Richie Myler, Nate Peteru, Matt Parcell, Mikilaj Oledzki, Brett Ferres, Liam Sutcliffe, Trent Merrin.
Interchange: Adam Cuthbertson, Brad Singleton, James Donaldson, Brad Dwyer.
Hull FC Tries: Naulago (17), Matongo (25), Sneyd (27), Shaul (30), Kelly (33), Hadley (58)
Hull FC Goals: Sneyd (5/6)
Leeds Rhinos Tries: Newman (4), Briscoe (7)
Leeds Rhinos Goals: Lolohea (1/2)