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HULL FC 4-22 HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS
By | 09/04/2012
Hull FC’s six match unbeaten run came to a halt at the Galpharm Stadium, but there could be no questions Peter Gentle’s side’s effort in a 22-4 loss to table-topping Huddersfield Giants.
In a nervy first half that saw both defences on top, Danny Tickle and Danny Brough traded penalties, but a resilient Hull side eventually tired after the break after an intense Good Friday derby against neighbours Hull KR.
Earl Crabtree, Luke Robinson and Joe Wardle ran in second half tries for the Giants, who remain top of the Super League table, although the Airlie Birds will take credit for a never-say-die display after the lost Martin Aspinwall to injury early on.
Hull entered the game full of confidence following a 36-6 thrashing of arch rivals Hull KR at the KC Stadium three days ago, when the Black and Whites ran in five second half tries including a hat-trick for Jordan Turner.
However, in-form half back Richard Horne joined an already extensive injury list for head coach Peter Gentle, meaning a second start of the season in the halves for former Leigh Centurion Jamie Ellis, who was named Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year in the Championship last season.
With the likes of Sam Moa, Mark O’Meley, Chris Green, Joe Westerman and Aaron Heremaia missing from the Hull pack, young prop Josh Bowden continued his run in the side, while back row forward Liam Kent made just his second Super League appearance from the bench.
Assistant coach Lee Radford also took his place in the front row for the second match in succession, facing up to the returning David Fa’alogo for the Giants.
With Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown naming an experience substitutes bench in the shape of Larne Patrick, Jason Chan, Earl Crabtree and Luke Robinson, Hull were looking to start well and did so by opening the scoring in the 10th minute.
It came via a Danny Tickle penalty during Hull’s first real attacking set in the Huddersfield half, a high tackle on Will Sharp allowing the second rower to opening the scoring for the afternoon and give the Black and Whites a narrow lead.
However, with Super League’s two best defences on show, the Giants replied in kind five minutes later when Danny Brough slotted over from in front of the posts after the scrum half had been hauled down just short by a superb last-ditch tackle from Kirk Yeaman.
With Tom Brisoce adjudged to have been offside on the next tackle by referee Jamie Child, Brough tied the scores at 2-2 and that was the way it remained at the break, although the remainder of the first half was far from uneventful.
Guilty of conceding far too many penalties and looking sloppy with the ball in slippery conditions, the Black and Whites spent much of the remaining opening period penned deep inside their own half against the table-toppers.
But standing up manfully in defence, the Airlie Birds responded strongly to each Huddersfield set of six, repeatedly forcing mistakes from the home side with a string of huge hits.
In addition to Yeaman’s try-saving tackle and another from Wade McKinnon, further big hits came in from the likes of Brett Seymour, Danny Houghton and Lee Radford as Hull defiantly defended their line, roared on by a vocal travelling contingent from the Old Faithful standing at their backs.
Jay Pitts typified the effort of a Hull pack tired by the Good Friday derby, chasing back 60 metres to haul down Huddersfield’s Joe Wardle after the centre swooped on a loose ball near his own line to race clear, only to see the entire Hull team recover quickly to shut the opportunity down.
In attack, Hull’s chances were few and far between in the first half aside from Tickle’s early penalty, although Jamie Ellis put in some useful kicks to turn the Giants big forwards around.
But with both coaches likely to be unhappy with their side’s completion rate at the break, the war of attrition looked likely to continue and the crowd were not disappointed with more end-to-end action.
Hull’s spirit was again shown by Tickle refusing to leave the field after a heavy collision, while more outstanding defence held up Scott Grix over the line when the stand-off looked certain to score.
And Hull’s effort was rewarded at the end of the third quarter when Tickle slotted over his second penalty of the afternoon to edge Hull ahead once more.
It came after Manu was taken out off the ball after he kicked through on the last tackle, but Hull’s lead was short-lived as the Giants scored the game’s first try with 18 minutes left on the clock.
The field position came from another penalty as the Giants brought the ball of their own line, and Crabtree took full advantage to crash his way through tired Hull defence. Brough added the extras the make the scores 8-4 to the home side and the Black and Whites looked out on their feet after a second tough match in a matter of days.
An a fresher Giants side took full advantage to wrap up the game with 11 minutes remaining, although it took another seemingly harsh decision from referee Childs to hand them the position.
Waving Huddersfield’s possession back to six when it seemed they had knocked on from a Jason Chan break, a Crabtree drive put Hull on the back foot and allowed hooker Robinson the opportunity to dive over from dummy half.
Brough added the simple conversion to make the scores 14-4 and then extended his side’s lead with a second penalty of the day for the former Hull, Wakefield and Castleford man.
Centre Joe Wardle then broke away to touch down in the corner as the scoreline ran away from Hull, but there could be no questioning the effort as the Black and Whites bravely fought on.
Briscoe was pulled back for a forward pass as he looked for a late consolation try and the England winger also ran 60m to haul down Aaron Murphy in the dying stages in a shining example of Hull's attitude at a rain-soaked Galpharm Stadium.
Huddersfield Giants: Eden, Murphy, Cudjoe, Wardle, McGillvary, Brough, Grix, Mason, Lee, Fa’alogo, Lawrence, Molloy, Brown.
Subs: Patrick, Chan, Crabtree, Robinson.
Tries: Crabtree, Robinson, Wardle
Goals: Brough (5/5)
Hull FC: McKinnon, Sharp, Turner, Yeaman, Briscoe, Ellis, Seymour, Radford, Houghton, Lynch, Manu, Tickle, Whiting.
Subs: Aspinwall, Bowden, Pitts, Kent.
Goals: Tickle (2/2)
Referee: J Child