Match Report: Salford Red Devils 16-23 Hull FC
A hat-trick from former Salford man Josh Griffin earned the Black & Whites their fourth win on the road in a row as they ran out 23-16 winners over the Red Devils in a tight encounter at the AJ Bell Stadium.
The in-form centre bagged three tries on his former hunting ground as Hull continued their impressive form away from home.
After dominating during the early stages, Hull showed strong defensive resolve to keep the Devils at bay for long periods of the game, which came to a head with a tight finish - Marc Sneyd slotted over a late drop-goal to seal the points.
Connor Wynne came into the Black & Whites side to make his club debut at full-back.
Gareth Ellis returned to the squad after being rested last week, while Jack Logan made his first appearance of 2019 for the Airlie Birds.
Dean Hadley missed out through illness.
Hull began the match at pace and it was Griffin who went over for the opening score against his former side. Bouncing off a poor tackle from the Devils defence, space opened up to touch down. Sneyd converted.
Sneyd soon doubled his conversion tally adding a penalty goal in front of the sticks on the ten minute mark.
However, Salford were back in the game before the 20 minute mark - Josh Jones managed to get on the end of a messy grubber kick from Robert Lui to bag the hosts first score. Chamberlain added the goal.
The Red Devils looked as if they had doubled their try tally on the 24 minute mark when Niall Evalds went through a large gap in the Hull line, however referee Gareth Hewer deemed that the Hull man had been obstructed in the build-up and the try was disallowed.
Hull were dealt a blow before the break when Jack Logan was sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul. However, the momentum of the game turned back in the favour of the visitors when Connor Wynne made an impressive break down-field after Hull had been on the back-foot for 15 minutes.
The Black & Whites absorbed some strong pressure from the Devils, but managed to extend the lead with a further penalty goal from Sneyd when the drop-out went out on the full.
HALF-TIME: Salford 6-10 Hull FC
Derrell Olpherts had the first chance of the half for Salford, diving over in the corner to touch down. But the final ball to the winger was deemed to be forward.
But it was Josh Griffin who made it double delight, scrambling over for his second score after 47 minutes, having the strength to get the ground the ball in-goal despite the attempt of the Red Devils defenders. Sneyd converted.
And Griffin had soon completed his hat-trick on the 50 minute mark, powering over in the corner as Salford’s edge defence opened up.
The Devils hit back though on the hour mark as Niall Evalds slid over in the corner, edging themselves to within two converted tries of the lead.
Sneyd made the lead 12 points by adding a further penalty goal, slotted over from the 40 metre line.
But Salford ensured it would be a tense finish in the final ten minutes as Jackson Hastings went over under the posts on the 70 minute mark.
Sneyd added the drop-goal with seven minutes left on the clock to take Hull’s lead to seven points, which Hull held onto until the final whistle.
FULL-TIME: Salford - Hull FC
Hull FC: Connor Wynne, Jack Logan, Josh Griffin, Carlos Tuimavave, Bureta Faraimo, Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, MIckey Paea, Mark Minichiello, Sika Manu, Joe Westerman.
Interchange: Jordan Lane, Andre Savelio, Gareth Ellis, Danny Washbrook.
Salford: Niall Evalds, Krisnan Inu, Ed Chamberlain, Jake Bibby, Derrell Olpherts, Robert Lui, Jackson Hastings, Adam Walker, Joey Lussick, Gil Dudson, Josh Jones, George Griffin, Mark Flanagan.
Interchange: Greg Burke, Kris Whelham, Petro Nukubuwai, Jansin Turgut.
Hull FC Tries: Griffin (5, 47, 50)
Hull FC Goals: Sneyd (5/6)
Hull FC Drop-Goal: Sneyd (73)
Salford Tries: Jones (17), Evalds (59), Hastings (69)
Salford Goals: Chamberlin (2/3)