Hull FC Reserves got their 2023 campaign underway with a comprehensive 54-14 victory over London Broncos Reserves at Richmond Athletic Ground this afternoon.
After narrowly missing out on a place in last year’s Reserves Championship Grand Final, Michael Shenton’s side ran in ten tries in their Round One affair with the Broncos in the capital, with Davy Litten and Harvey Barron claiming career-first hat-tricks.
Lewis Martin scored a brace, whilst there were also tries for Lennon Bursell and Sully Medforth.
Hull were applying all of the pressure early on, but stout defence from the hosts kept the scores locked inside the opening ten minutes.
That was until the visitors forced an error deep inside the London half. From the resulting scrum, Barron opened his account for the afternoon in the right corner.
Moments later, Litten made a cut-throat break from halfway and dummied past London fullback Marcus Clarke to score under the posts.
Whilst the rub of the green appeared to be with the visitors when Barron claimed his second try after a fortunate bounce of the ball from a Mackenzie Harman kick, London had other ideas and cut the deficit back down to twelve points through Jenson Binks’ try.
That did not seem to affect the confidence of the Hull players, though. Four minutes later, Litten cashed in for his second try of the afternoon. Another well executed scrum play saw a lovely interchange between Litten and Martin down the left edge, with the fullback picking up a deflected ball back on the inside.
FC weren’t done before the break and there was evidence to suggest there was impact from a youthful bench, too. Callum Chapman-Peterson, not long after his introduction, fooled all of the Broncos defenders from dummy half with a bullet of a flat pass, sending Bursell over the whitewash untouched beneath the sticks.
HALF-TIME: Broncos Reserves 4-28 Hull Reserves
After a sloppy start to the second half from both sides, it was Hull who got their act together first when Litten got on the end of Medforth’s well-measured grubber kick.
Despite the 34-4 scoreline, London were proving to be tenacious, and their effort was rewarded with a second try. It was a try born out of pure effort, as Josh Calvert launched himself in front of Martin to claim a kick on the full before wrestling the ball to ground.
But Hull’s class shone through once again – this time on the defensive front. Facing some adversity and pressure following the Broncos’ second try, FC frustrated the hosts into throwing a wild cut out pass to the right winger – but that was intercepted by Martin, who raced 80 metres to score.
Not too long after, Martin had his brace and he had Medforth to thank for his peach of a cut out pass to send him in at the left corner.
With a reshuffle of the pack in the closing stages, Harman’s move to loose forward allowed the dynamic Logan Moy to slot into the halves, and he was involved in Hull’s ninth try of the afternoon, shipping the ball onto Litten who found Barron in the right corner.
With Litten and Barron securing hat-tricks, Martin had the opportunity to score his third in the last five minutes as well, but he unselfishly supplied Medforth after making a break inside his own half. The young halfback still had work to do from 30 metres out, fending off winger Morgan Jackson on his way to the whitewash.
There was, however, one more blemish on the afternoon for Hull. A lapse in concentration in the last minute allowed David Slater to pinch a consolation try from dummy half underneath the posts.
FULL-TIME: Broncos Reserves 14-54 Hull Reserves
Still, it was an encouraging Round One performance from Shenton’s side, who will now look to build on their win when they face Bradford’s Reserves in two weeks.
Squads & Scorers
Hull: Litten, Barron, Shaw, Wacokecoke, Martin, Harman, Medforth, Thompson, Hodgson, Gardiner, Jebson, Stipetic, Bursell
Hull Interchanges: Chapman-Peterson, Dulson, Ferreira, Moy
Hull Tries: Barron (3), Litten (3), Bursell, Martin (2), Medforth
Hull Goals: Harman (7/10)
Broncos: Clarke, Jackson, Stevens, Yule, Parkes, Hoyes, Binks, Dore, Slater, Winney, Allen, Parke, Howorth
Broncos Interchanges: Calvert, Dumaroh, Lesniewski, Macaulay, Suddick, Walker
Broncos Tries: Binks, Calvert, Slater
Broncos Goals: Hoyes (1/3)