What we saw last night was a reaction and one that was much needed after a difficult game last week. Hull didn’t just win; they defeated Huddersfield Giants resoundingly by a margin of 48 – 8. Several players showed much improved performances from last week and it’s great to see the team showing what they’re capable of. I’ve picked out 5 names from last night’s team that really showed their credentials for the rest of the year:
Carlos Tuimavave – The explosive centre: I think me and a number of other fans were slightly concerned just exactly where Tuimavave’s future would lie for 2017. Originally brought in as a centre, it always seemed he may struggle against the competition around him but he’s been in superb form so far this year. What has impressed me most is his athleticism; Carlos has clearly worked hard off-season to keep in peak condition. A dangerous runner on the attack but incredibly strong in the tackle, Hull may have found a gem in the Kiwi. He continued in this rich vein of form last night with a fantastic long-range try. Once Mahe Fonua gets back up to speed on the wing, you can’t help but feel this partnership is going to create some wonderful combinations.
Albert Kelly – The Mercurial Magician: Despite the reservations during the off-season, you have to say so far he’s really justifying Radford’s decision to sign him. With an air of quiet confidence, Albert has let his performances do the talking in the two games he’s played. You can’t help but feel Hull missed his ability to run at the opposition last week and he returned in style at Huddersfield. Getting on the board with a brace of tries, Kelly demonstrated a combination of quick feet and thought processes for his tries. As long as he’s on the pitch, you have to think the Airlie Birds always stand a good opportunity of winning simply because of his unpredictability.
Masimbaashe Matongo – The Metre Making Bulwark: Despite making his first-team debut some 18 months ago, we haven’t seen a lot of Masi since then but he has certainly been making waves in the Reserves in the meantime. Matongo dug deep last night and was up to the task of replacing the suspended Watts as part of the quartet of props. What is quite striking this year is Masi’s physical development. He resembles a Super League forward and it’s great to see him mixing it with the best. Based on last night’s consistent performance he’ll certainly get more opportunities.
Josh Griffin – The Explosive Centre: Given the conditions and the fact that Josh has carried a niggling groin injury from the beginning of the season, we haven’t really seen him at his best yet. Last night was a timely reminder of what he can do in open space. Grabbing his first try of the regular season, Josh showed how difficult he will be to stop near the line with a combination of physical presence and raw pace. Added to that was the intelligence to support his wing partner, Fetuli Talanoa who duly sent the inside pass for Griffin’s score. It’s a partnership that’s still in its infancy but showing definite signs of progress.
Marc Sneyd – Critics, hat tricks and sublime kicks: We had to leave the best until last didn’t we! Sneyd has come under fire this week due to a certain critic’s comments. All I can say is that I hope Garry Schofield enjoys his humble pie because his analysis of Sneyd couldn’t have been further from the truth based on last night. Sneydy was irrepressible on the pitch; we all know how consistent he usually is with the boot but he added an attacking dimension that cut Huddersfield to shreds. His hat trick comprised of intelligence for the intercept, strength and support play; all the attributes you want from your scrum-half. If he replicates last night’s efforts throughout the season, he’s going to wreak havoc.