Match Report: Leeds Rhinos 24-26 Hull FC
Hull ended their 12 year wait for a victory at Headingley with a dramatic 26-24 victory over Leeds on Sunday afternoon.
After dominating for long periods of the game, Hull lost the lead midway through the second-half when a quick-fire brace from Tom Briscoe put the hosts ahead.
But a late score from Ratu Naualago and a confident conversion from Marc Sneyd confirmed the points for Hull in a thrilling encounter.
Hull FC were boosted by the return of forward duo Jordan Lane and Gareth Ellis for the clash in West Yorkshire.
Lane returned from a knee injury that had left him out of action since the Easter weekend, while veteran forward Ellis made his return following a facial injury to take on his former club.
The Black & Whites opened the scoring within less than five minutes. Some continued pressure on the Rhinos line resulted in Sika Manu hitting a gaping hole in the defensive line, and charging through to touch down and give Hull and early advantage.
FC went close to their second try shortly after the 15-minute mark, when Ratu Naulago appeared to have touched down with another spectacular diving finish in the corner. However, the play was halted with the Fijian deemed to have stepped into touch.
Hull did though get a second midway through the first-half, with Bureta Faraimo leaping brilliantly to collect a pin-point accurate cross-field kick from Marc Sneyd. Despite landing awkwardly, the winger managed to ground the ball.
Leeds hit back though despite Hull dominating the majority of the first-half. Powerful centre Konrad Hurrell charged over in the corner to get the hosts first points of the afternoon.
HALF-TIME: Leeds Rhinos 6-12 Hull FC
Despite Leeds dominating the latter stages of the half, it was Hull who opened the scoring against the run of play in the second-half. A break down the left edge by Josh Griffin was finished with a pass inside to Jamie Shaul to finish.
Hull extended their lead further with a Marc Sneyd penalty with just under 30 minutes remaining in the clash.
Leeds hit back however through former Airlie Bird Tom Briscoe, who finished off a speedy move from the hosts in the corner.
And the Rhinos reduced the gap even further - with Hull turning the screw looking for the winning try, an interception from Ash Handley saw the winger go 90 metres to touch down under the sticks. Hull led by just two.
Leeds took the lead for the first time in the match when Briscoe went over for his second of the game with less than 15 minutes remaining in the game as the tide turned in the way of the hosts.
Hull did though come away with the victory after some dramatic closing stages. An error from Hurrell in Leeds territory saw Tuimavave come up with the ball, and fire the ball outside to Ratu Naulago who dived over. Sneyd converted under pressure to seal the win and end Hull’s 12 year wait for a victory at Headingley!
FULL-TIME: Leeds Rhinos 24-26 Hull FC
Leeds Rhinos: Jack Walker, Tom Briscoe, Harry Newman, Kinrad Hurrell, Ash Handley, Rob Lui, Liam Sutcliffe, Ava Seumanufagai, Shaun Lunt, Brad Singleton, Cameron Smith, Rhyse Martin, Trent Merrin.
Interchange: Brett Ferress, Adam Cuthbertson, Brad Dwyer, Nathanial Peteru.
Hull FC: Jamie Shaul, Bureta Faraimo, Josh Griffin, Carlos Tuimavave, Ratu Naulago, Jake Connor, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Mickey Paea, Sika Manu, Mark Minichiello, Joe Westerman.
Interchange: Josh Bowden, Brad Fash, Jordan Lane, Gareth Ellis.
Leeds Rhinos Tries: Hurrell (29), Briscoe (56, 66), Handley (61)
Leeds Rhinos Goals: Martin (4/4)
Hull FC Tries: Manu (4), Faraimo (20), Shaul (44), Naulago (71)
Hull FC Goals: Sneyd (5/5)