Johnson Double Helps Academy Defeat Giants

Johnson Double Helps Academy Defeat Giants

The Academy made it back-to-back wins as their season takes shape

Match Report News

Hull FC Academy ran in seven tries to win 42-24 and subject Huddersfield Giants Under 18s to their first defeat of the season.

Hull hit back after conceding an early try, leading 18-8 at the break thanks to tries from Callum Kemp, Will Kirby and Ben Johnson.

A blistering start to the second-half put FC firmly in the driving seat, with three tries in quick succession from Johnson, Callum Smith and Will Hutchinson, before Joe Ward rubber stamped the win with a score of his own in the closing stages.

The Match

On the heavy Laund Hill pitch, the hosts proved to be well at home in the early stages as they made a spirited start. And their promising opening spell yielded the first try of the game. Second-rower Max Merta got the better of Johnson, the Hull FC halfback, to power his way over the try line.

But Johnson brushed that early blemish aside and linked up nicely with his half partner Callum Kemp to help the Black & Whites get back on top, as the latter danced his way through a disjointed Huddersfield defensive line to post FC’s first points of the afternoon.

No sooner had Hull scored their first try of the game than they were in again. Callum Kemp once again taking charge of the play, sliding in a perfect grubber kick for back-rower Will Kirby to latch onto underneath the sticks.

Taking an eight-point lead certainly gave Hull tonnes of confidence, but their momentum was obstructed by a couple of breaks in play. One of those breaks was for Jon Turner to receive some medical treatment – he was helped from the field with a rib injury and did not return, meaning Francis Cummins had lost an interchange.

But it mattered little as Hull continued to dominate. And they had a third try to show for their first-half performance as a deceiving run from Johnson took him over the whitewash to score the visitors’ third try of the first-half.

Despite looking far the better side in the first-half, the deficit was cut to just ten points before the break. Logan Blacker made a deadly break down the middle of the field inside his own-half, but he was expertly cut down by Lloyd Kemp. With Hull in scramble mode, it looked as though the visitors were going to pull off a great escape, but the ball was ferried to the right edge, where Huddersfield had the extra man, and Matty Hanley used the space well to score.

HALF-TIME: Giants Academy 8-18 Hull Academy

But Huddersfield were quickly blown out of the water by a Hull FC blitz inside the first fifteen minutes of the second-half, started off by front-rower Callum Smith, whose powerful leg drive from a fair ten metres out took him over the whitewash for his first try of the season.

Then, a glorious one-two play between Lennon Clark and Will Hutchinson saw the latter canter in for Hull’s fifth try of the afternoon – the pair made the move look all too easy as they picked their way through a tiring Giants defensive line.

The momentum remained firmly with the Black & Whites, who were looking good value for the win. They extended their lead as Johnson ran the ball on the last and somehow freed up his right arm to plant the ball down over the try line, scoring for a fourth time in three Academy Championship matches.

Ill-discipline started to creep in for the visitors, much to the frustration of Francis Cummins. That came at a cost as the Giants crossed for their first points of the second-half thanks to a piece of athletic brilliance from centre Hanley, who leapt into the air and caught a Leo Ward kick on the full, leaving him with the simple task of falling over the try line upon landing.

Leo Ward’s grubber kick early in the tackle count caught Hull out once more, and the fullback Blacker was able to collect the bouncing ball and round his opposite number, Lloyd Kemp to bring the Giants back into the game.

The Huddersfield fightback continued deep into the second-half, despite a comeback looking unlikely. But that summed up the fighting spirit of the Giants, who scored their fifth try of the match through Merta, profiting from a Blacker offload.

Had Leo Ward’s goal-kicking been more accurate, Hull may have found themselves under greater pressure as the match entered the final five minutes. But his conversion of Merta’s try was only his second successful kick out of five, and FC remained comfortably in front by twelve.

And the win was rubber stamped by Ward in the final minute, spinning over in the right corner. Ryan Westerman converted the try from an awkward angle, making it a perfect seven successful kicks out of seven for the centre.

FULL-TIME: Giants Academy 24-42 Hull Academy
Squads & Scorers

Hull: L Kemp, Ward, Nicholson, Westerman, Barfield, Johnson, C Kemp, Turner, Hutchinson, Haldenby, Kirby, Calvert, Clark

Hull Interchanges: Baker, Opie, Smith, Thompson

Hull Tries: C Kemp, Kirby, Johnson (2), Smith, Hutchinson, Ward

Hull Goals: Westerman (7/7)

Giants: Blacker, Sharma, Hanley, Morrison, Fitzgibbon, J Ward, L Ward, Algar, Lumb, Donbavand, Sykes, Merta, Broadbent

Giants Interchanges: Beety, Brown, Gill, Land

Giants Tries: Merta (2), Hanley (2), Blacker

Giants Goals: L Ward (2/5)