Hull FC made it 5 competitive derby wins in a row with a comprehensive 36-12 win over rivals Hull KR on Thursday night, sealing the Robins’ place in the Middle 8s for the second year running, with the Black & Whites returning back to the top of Super League in the process.
It was a dominant display from the home side throughout with Marc Sneyd continuing his impressive form helping his side to claim their first win in three matches following a recent slump in form. The half-back has put his name firmly in the ring as a contender for the Man of Steel Award come the end of the season.
Braces from Mark Minichiello and Steve Michaels along with scores from Danny Houghton and Liam Watts see FC complete a trio of victories over their neighbours in 2016. Sneyd was pinpoint perfect with the boot converting all six efforts. Consolation tries from Iain Thornley and Adam Walker made sure Hull KR wouldn’t be nilled on this occasion.
FC went into the game boosted by the return of their captain and talisman Gareth Ellis who was missed in last week’s defeat to Leeds. Jordan Abdull also came in to replace the injured Carlos Tuimavave after impressing for the U23s in the last few weeks. However, Frank Pritchard missed out for Hull. Meanwhile for Hull KR, star winger Josh Mantellato made a shock return to the starting 13.
Despite the result, it was the visitors who started the better of the sides. In just the 3rd minute, Ken Sio had a peach of an opportunity to give Hull KR the lead from an Albert Kelly kick into the corner, but somehow managed to drop a certain try.
Only moments later, James Donaldson could have put Rovers on the scoresheet diving over from short range, had the ball from Shaun Lunt not been some distance forward.
It was then FC’s turn to come close. Jordan Abdull dived on a lose ball in goal to touch down. However, with referral to the video referee, it appeared he had put the ball down out of play. The scores still stayed level.
However, with the ball in hand, Hull began to pile on the early pressure. After going down with a cheek injury in the opening stages, it was ex-Rovers man Liam Watts who crashed over for the first score of the game from close range. Marc Sneyd converted to give FC a 6-0 lead.
Only 3 minutes later, Lee Radford’s men extended their lead with a brilliant combination play from Sneyd and Houghton, with the hooker slicing through the Hull KR defense to collect a perfect kick from the half-back. He converted the try he created.
Mahe Fonua knocked on a walk-in moments after but FC would make it 18-0 after 23 minutes; Sneyd the creator again, it would be the pacey forward Minichiello this time who collected to score in front of the silenced North Stand of the KCOM where the Red & White supporters were situated. Sneyd converted.
Hull KR had two more opportunities to get on the scoresheet before the half-time hooter, but Shaun Lunt and Albert Kelly knocked on their respective efforts. FC led 18-0 at the break.
The home side looked pretty comfortable after a shaky start, with the half-backs dominating the affair and the forward pack keeping any Hull KR chances at bay.
It didn’t take long after the restart for FC to hit Rovers once again, with Mark Minichiello showing a change of pace to break the Hull KR line and step two flailing defenders, to touch down for his second score.
The win already looked sealed for Hull now with over half an hour remaining in the final derby on 2016. But the Black and Whites weren’t done yet. It was Steve Michaels turn to score in the corner, once again nudging Lee Radford to give him another contract for 2017. The typical derby handbags followed the try.
At 30-0, FC fans were hoping of another nilling over their biggest rivals.However, Adam Walker made sure they wouldn’t get that much out of their derby win with a mere consolation in front of the Hull KR fans.
Steve Michaels completed his brace with 12 minutes remaining; a sensational offload from Mahe Fonua found the Aussie who broke down the wing and dived over in the corner for another special finish. Snyed kicked his 6th successful conversion ofthe night to continue his 100% record.
Another consolation for Hull KR from Iain Thornley with 2 minutes remaining had no real effect on the scoreline and recieved satirical cheers from the home crowd. The conversion meant the scoreline finished 36-12 in the 229th derby in favour of the Black & Whites.
— Scott Taylor (@ScottTagTaylor) 14 July 2016
In a win that saw Hull FC return to the top of the league, a masterclass of a performance from Marc Sneyd showed the foundations of what the Black & Whites’ successful season has been built on. Supported with a classy performance from Jordan Abdull in the halves, FC magician should really be looking at that number 7 shirt for England come November.
The city is ⚫️⚪️
— jamie shaul (@jamieshaul) 14 July 2016
Hull’s forwards put in another huge shift on Thursday night. There is no doubt the likes of Gareth Ellis, Liam Watts, Mark Minichiello and Scott Taylor are members of the strongest and most powerful pack in the division that even some NRL clubs could be jealous of.
Top effort all round tonight. Good to see. Fans on top form aswel. Not a fan of the old touch screen tho #squeakybumtime
— Marc Sneyd (@sneyd23) 14 July 2016
FC have held the bragging rights for 471 days now, but the derby series win this year isn’t really that important to the Faithful when you consider they sit at the top of the tree and have a Challenge Cup Semi-Final coming up. They face Salford next week in the last game of the regular season looking to continue their form into the Super 8s. Silverwear IS on the horizon for FC, they just need to hold their nerve and keep doing what they’ve been doing brilliantly all year.
— Liam Watts (@WATTSY7890) 14 July 2016