Hull FC suffered a 28-12 defeat to Leeds Rhinos, as a dominant first-half lead from the visitors was too much for the Black & Whites to fight back from.
Hull tries from Adam Swift, Harvey Barron and Cam Scott weren’t enough, as a hat-trick from Sam Lisone, and scores from Luke Hooley and David Fusitu’a secured the points for Rohan Smith’s side.
Tony Smith made several changes from last week’s fixture against Warrington Wolves, and was able to welcome back into the fold the experienced pair of Scott Taylor (hamstring) and Danny Houghton (concussion), both taking their place in the front row in the week Taylor announced his retirement from the sport at the end of the season.
Hull were also able to welcome back Tex Hoy from a long term hamstring injury to take his place on the interchange bench, whilst Harvey Barron made just his second appearance of the season on the wing, as Darnell McIntosh dropped out with a hand injury.
Also missing out through injury were Davy Litten (back) and Jake Trueman (Achillies), who were joined on the sidelines by Carlos Tuimavave (suspension), Ligi Sao (knee), Ben McNamara (hand), Mitieli Vulikijapani (knee) and Charlie Severs (shoulder).
Leeds made three changes from the team that were defeated by Huddersfield Giants, welcoming back David Fusitu’a in place of Ash Handley.
Rohan Smith also brought back James McDonnell and Jack Sinfield in place of Aidan Sezer and James Bentley (both concussion).
Although Hull started the opening exchanges brightly with a couple of half breaks, they weren’t able to take advantage of their openings by posting points.
Leeds were the side to draw first blood, James McDonnell running a strong line to burst through a gap in the Hull line. He kicked through on the floor for Luke Hooley who looked ominously close to the touchline, but managed to tiptoe his way inside and score under the posts.
The Rhinos kept the scoreboard ticking over not long after, as a late tackle on Jack Sinfield warranted a Leeds penalty in the opinion of referee Tom Grant, and Rhyse Martin notched his first points of the afternoon.
Hull got on the scoreboard around the midway point of the half, Adam Swift scoring Hull’s first try for the sixth game in a row.
Jordan Lane ran a trademark line off Jake Clifford, flying through a hole in the Leeds defence and found Adam Swift with a pass. Although the winger had plenty of work still to do, he managed to wrestle his way over the line to score. Jake Clifford, on goal kicking duties as Liam Sutcliffe was replaced with a back injury, was off target from the tee.
The rest of the half belonged to Sam Lisone, who powered his way over for a brace in the space of less than 10 minutes.
The first came after a neat exchange of passes between the Rhinos middle forwards, before Leeds dragged Hull defenders wide and hit the space in the middle of the field to further extend their lead before the break.
HALF-TIME: Hull 4-18 Rhinos
The second half started much the way the first had ended for Hull, as an error from kick-off saw Leeds take full advantage, as they created an overlap on the Hull left which David Fusitu’a was able to score from.
However, the Black & Whites reduced the deficit thanks to brilliant individual work from both Andre Savelio and Harvey Barron.
Savelio received a pass from Tex Hoy and managed to throw a Leeds defender to the ground and found Barron with just enough space to fly acrobatically in at the corner for his first try of the season.
From there, Hull continued to probe away at the Leeds line, and they cut the deficit to ten points when Cam Scott scored in the right corner.
Despite continuing to apply pressure after their third try of the afternoon, Hull could not pull themselves within touching distance of the Rhinos.
Leeds finished the game off in the final 10 minutes, as Sam Lisone went over for his hattrick, bursting through a gap in the Hull defence around 40 metres out and stepping past Jamie Shaul to score under the posts.
FULL-TIME: Hull 12-28 Rhinos
Hull: Jamie Shaul, Harvey Barron, Cam Scott, Liam Sutcliffe, Adam Swift, Joe Lovodua, Jake Clifford, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Brad Fash, Jordan Lane, Andre Savelio, Joe Cator
Hull Interchanges: Brad Dwyer, Chris Satae, Jack Brown, Tex Hoy
18th Man: Cobie Wainhouse
Leeds: Luke Hooley, David Fusitu’a, Luis Roberts, Harry Newman, Derrell Olpherts, Rhyse Martin, Jack Sinfield, Mikolaj Oledzki, Jarrod O’Connor, Tom Holroyd, James McDonnell, Sam Walters, Cameron Smith
Leeds Interchanges: James Donaldson, Leon Ruan, Morgan Gannon, Sam Lisone
18th Man: Alfie Edgell
Hull Tries: Adam Swift (21′), Harvey Barron (51′), Cam Scott (60′)
Hull Goals: Jake Clifford (0/2)
Leeds Tries: Luke Hooley (10′), Sam Lisone (30′, 37′, 73′), Fusitu’a (41′)
Leeds Goals: Rhyse Martin (4/6)
Attendance, in association with Garbutts: Adam Swift
Peregrine Property Man of the Match: 11,064