After last week’s 18-54 hammering at home to Salford, Lee Radford will have been drilling into his players all week that the team needed to respond. They had some troops back as Albert Kelly, Scott Taylor and Gareth Ellis all returned to the side but this seemed to make little difference as Hull were put to the sword again by the resurgent Leeds Rhinos.
Hull have a poor record against Leeds but there was a cracking atmosphere inside the KCOM Stadium as the game kicked off. The Black and White army were trying to rally their troops to beat The Rhinos which would have gone a long way towards writing the wrongs of last week.
Hull started slowly as they gave away early penalties. The ever pedantic and sometimes mystifying James Child was in charge and in truth he had a terrible game he made ridiculous decisions on more than one occasion and lost control of the game. Mini ref rant aside though he can’t be used as an excuse for Hull’s performance. Rhinos veteran Danny Maguire opened the scoring following back to back penalties as he stepped through a yawning gap in the Hull defence to slide over.
Hull hit back quickly as a Albert Kelly chip to the corner was collected and grounded brilliantly by Steve Michaels as he somehow managed to ground the ball after an acrobatic jump for the ball. Leeds then scored two quick tries to take command of the game. Albert Kelly gave his best effort in the game and fronted up in defence. He injured himself in a tackle in the 16th minute and Leeds took advantage by spreading the ball wide down his side and Ryan Hall bounced off him and Mahe Fonua to score. From the kick off Leeds were awarded a penalty and they marched downfield where Matt Parcell took advantage of some poor defending on the goal line to scoot over from dummy half.
Leeds were now well and truly on top and they scored again soon after. Joel Moon stepped his way through another massive gap in the Hull line as Jake Connor completely mis-read the situation to see Moon dive under the posts. Scott Taylor then barged his way over for Hull at the other end before Leeds had the final say in the first half. Joel Moon crossed for his second try before Liam Sutcliffe added a penalty to make it 12-30 at Half Time.
Hull had their best spell of the game just after half time. Clearly fired up by Lee Radford the Hull players came out looking for a way back into the game. Jamie Shaul scored a brilliant individual try as he stepped through a gap and raced 70m to score. Leeds were then awarded a succession of penalties much to the bemusement and frustration of the Hull crowd and the players. They were penalised for moving off the mark a couple of times and Sika Manu, Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd and Mahe Fonua all showed their frustration with Child at different times in the game. This latest glut of penalties gave Liam Sutcliffe an easy two points as he converted from in front of the posts.
Hull still believed they could get back in the game though and Liam Watts did brilliantly to gather the short kick off after the penalty before almost going all the way to score. He was held down by Danny Maguire who was subsequently sin binned as Leeds were on a team warning at the time. A couple of tackles later Marc Sneyd sent Mark Minichiello over to score. Sneyd converted and the gap was down to 8 points at 24-32. That however was as good as it got for Hull.
Hull began to push the play trying to find more quick tries but with that brought errors and when Leeds had the ball you could sense the referees whistle was about to blow. Hull were soon on a team warning and a few tackles later Gareth Ellis followed Maguire to the sin bin. Sutcliffe added another penalty before Kallum Watkins took the game out of Hull’s reach as he bundled his way over the line too easily for Hull’s liking.
Mitch Garbutt then got in on the act as he was put through yet another massive gap in the Hull defence. Things were going from bad to worse for Hull and they were compounded in the final five minutes. Firstly Sika Manu was sin binned for dissent towards James Child. It’s not surprising a Hull player saw yellow for dissent as most of Child’s decisions were truly baffling and this made the Hull players more and more frustrated as the game wore on and the result went away from them. With a couple of minutes to go Leeds brought up the half century when Anthony Mullally crossed. Burrow converted to make the final score Hull FC 24-52 Leeds Rhinos.
Hull have now conceded 106 points in two home games which is nowhere near good enough. Lee Radford will know that and he will have the unenviable task of picking his tired troops up to go again at Leigh on Monday. With Castleford coming to the KCOM Stadium next weekend A positive response is certainly needed. it’s not about to get any easier for Hull so a win at Leigh would be welcome relief for everyone involved with the club.