Match Report: London Broncos 24-28 Hull FC
Hull FC held on at the Trailfinders Sports Ground to edge London Broncos 28-24 in a tense encounter in the capital on Sunday afternoon.
A late flurry of scores from the hosts saw them reduce the gap to just four points as they pushed for a late winner.
But Hull held on for their third consecutive away victory, with Josh Griffin bagging a brace in the contest.
Mickey Paea came into the squad after missing last week’s game through injury.
Meanwhile Gareth Ellis made his first start of the season for the Black & Whites.
Albert Kelly partnered Marc Sneyd in the halves while Ratu Naulago retained his spot on the wing.
The Black & Whites opened the scoring in the 11th minute of the game with a score courtesy of Josh Griffin. A smart offload from Bureta Faraimo close to the line allowed the centre space to smash through a gap and touch down. Sneyd missed the kick.
However, Hull’s lead was short lived as the Broncos hit back almost immediately. Elliot Kear jumped on a loose-ball in the Hull half and the Welsh international raced away to touch down under the sticks. Dixon converted.
The Airlie Birds though were soon back ahead in the capital, and it was Griffin who was over again, getting on the end of a short ball from a tap close to the London line. Sneyd was on target with the conversion attempt.
The hosts were almost back in the game when Jay Pitts went for the corner, but was held up by a superb three man tackle from Shaul, Tuimavave and Naulago.
However London did get their second try of the game 10 minutes before the break - Pelissier darted for the line and managed to squeeze under the Hull defence to ground the ball. Dixon converted.
Former Hull KR man Dixon slotted over a conversion just before the break to extend London’s lead to four points at the break.
HALF-TIME: London Broncos 14-10 Hull FC
It was Lee Radford’s side who began the second-half the better with Carlos Tuimavave’s darting run having him cross the try-line in the first set after the restart, a try created by Albert Kelly’s smart short ball to the centre. Sneyd kicked the goal.
Hull were dealt a blow though as Jamie Shaul was withdrawn with a serious head-knock after 45 minutes.
Hull’s fourth score of the game came courtesy of Jordan Thompson who powered his way over in front of the travelling Hull FC supporters. Sney’d kick hit the post.
FC strengthened their position in the contest with a breakaway score from Albert Kelly. Intercepting a wide pass, the half-back raced down the wing from 60 metres out to score under the posts. Sneyd missed the goal.
Kelly almost turned provider with an incredible pass to winger Ratu Naulago, who collected brilliantly and looked like he had scored a spectacular try in the corner, but he was brought back after being deemed to have been tackled into touch from Kear.
And Hull went further ahead just after the hour mark, this time thanks to Bureta Faraimo, who collected Sneyd’s ball and was just too powerful for the London defence and crashed over the line. Sneyd missed the goal.
The Broncos wouldn’t be scoreless in the second-half though as Jordan Abdull managed to scoot over from dummy-half in the final ten minutes. Dixon couldn’t convert.
The hosts give themself hope in the game with five minutes remaining. Kear fed the ball to Williams on the edge who raced away to touch down in the corner. The successful conversion left four points in the game.
There was drama in the final minutes as the Broncos pushed for a late score to break Hull’s hearts, but the Black & Whites held firm for their third consecutive away victory.
FULL-TIME: London Broncos 24-28 Hull FC
London Broncos: Alex Walker, Kiran Dixon, Ryan Morgan, Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams, Jordan Abdull, Morgan Smith, Eddie Battye, Eloi Pelissier, Rob Butler, Jay Pitts, Luke Yates, Matt Davis.
Interchange: Will Lovell, Matty Fozard, Greg Richards, Nathan Mason.
Hull FC: Jamie Shaul, Ratu Naulago, Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Bureta Faraimo, Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd, Mickey Paea, Danny Houghton, Masi Matongo, Dean Hadley, Sika Manu, Gareth Ellis.
Interchange: Scott Taylor, Jordan Thompson, Jordan Lane, Jez Litten.
London Broncos Tries: Kear (13), Pelissier (29), Abdull (70), WIlliams (75)
London Broncos Goals: Dixon (4/5)
Hull FC Tries: Griffin (11, 18), Tuimavave (42), Thompson (48), Kelly (55), Faraimo (63)
Hull FC Goals: Sneyd (2/6)