Hull FC’s Wheelchair team fell to a 78-28 defeat against top-of-the-table Leeds Rhinos as the West Yorkshire outfit maintained their unbeaten run at the top of the Wheelchair Super League.
Hull were able to get on the score sheet on a number of occasions thanks to tries from Tristan Norfolk, Michael Midgeley and Martin Norris.
Despite a determined effort from the home side, Leeds showed their class as England-international Josh Butler racked up five tries to help the Rhinos stay undefeated in 2023.
Hull fielded a depleted side as father and son duo Mike and Billy Swainger were amongst some of the noticeable absentees.
However, the Black & Whites were able to include England Wheelchair squad member Tristan Norfolk and former England and World Cup winning Captain Martin Norris in their side.
Leeds fielded five international stars, including current England captain Tom Halliwell.
Hull began the game well and Norfolk scored the first try of the match after the home side capitalised on an error from Butler in the opening minutes.
Both teams held periods of possession before the end of the opening fifteen minutes, but despite chances for both Josh Edwards and Norfolk, it was Leeds who held a small lead thanks to tries from Butler and Nathan Collins.
The next ten minutes went the way of the visitors as braces for both Halliwell and Jodie Boyd-Ward saw the Rhinos take a convincing lead.
However, the Black & Whites appeared unaffected by a Leeds purple patch – Midgeley adding a second for Hull after a healthy period of possession.
Leeds claimed another on the cusp of the break as World Cup winner Collins claimed his second of the game less than a minute before half-time.
HALF-TIME: Hull Wheelchair 10-36 Rhinos Wheelchair
It looked as though Hull had started the second-half in the same manner as they did in the first-half, but Norris’ try was chalked off shortly before Leeds scored the first post-interval points through Butler’s break.
Butler and Collins added another try each to their tally, putting them both on three for the afternoon.
However, Hull managed to swing momentum back into their favour as Norfolk and Midgeley claimed braces as FC went in for back-to-back tries.
The next ten minutes was a hard-fought arm-wrestle between both sides as Leeds’ Collins and Hull’s Norris scored in a period of sharp attack and defence from both sides.
However, the Wheelchair Super League leaders proved to be to much for the Hull side as two further tries for Butler and another for Halliwell gave Leeds a convincing victory.
FULL-TIME: Hull Wheelchair 28-78 Rhinos Wheelchair
Squads & Scorers
Hull: Midgeley, Norris, Norfolk, Baker, Edwards, Gill, Stancliffe, Sherwood
Hull Tries: Norfolk (2), Midgeley (2), Norris
Hull Goals: Norfolk (4/5)
Rhinos: Collins, Butler, Mullhall, Cuts, Clibbens, Halliwell, Horrobin, Smith, Boyd-Ward
Rhinos Tries: Butler (5), Collins (4), Jodie Boyd-Ward (2), Halliwell (3)
Rhinos Goals: Collins (9/10), Clibbens (2/4)