Pathetic is a strong word but it is accurate tonight. Hull FC were pathetic and put up little more than a whimper in answer to a strong Huddersfield Giants side. Last year Hull scored more than 40 points in an emphatic win the week before Wembley. Fast forward 12 months and the polar opposite happened tonight. Hull were off the pace from the start and were punished by the rampant Giants who scored 46 points to Hull’s 18.
Funnily enough the game started well for Hull as they opened the scoring. Gareth Ellis announced his retirement this week and it was perhaps fitting that he got the first try of the evening. He used all his strength and guile to stretch out and plonk the ball on the try line under the sticks. Sneyd converted to give Hull an early 6-0 lead.
The Giants responded quickly as Lee Gaskell began a brilliant individual display by putting Darnell McIntosh in at the corner. It was a soft try to concede as Hull got their numbers wrong on the right edge and that set the precedent for the rest of the night. From the restart Sebastine Ikahihifo burst through some weak defence up the middle and despite Hull scrambling back they ended up conceding a drop out. From the next set Kruise Leeming put Lee Gaskell through a gaping hole in the Hull defence and he strolled over the score. Brough converted to give the Giants a 6-10 lead.
Like their opponents before them Hull hit back almost immediately through former Giant Jake Connor. He attacked the line wide on the right and dummied his way through a gap to score. It was a fine individual try and Sneyd converted to give Hull a 12-10 lead.
Hull had weathered the storm and had the lead again but they didn’t grasp control of the game as they should have. Huddersfield scored two easy tries before half time as Hull continued to drop off tackles and look generally off colour. Alex Mellor and Darnell McIntosh scored tries that were both converted by Danny Brough to give the visitors a 12-22 half time lead.
HT Hull FC 12-22 Huddersfield Giants
Hull fans may have been forgiven for expecting an upturn in fortunes for their team after a half time rollocking from Lee Radford but they were wrong. Huddersfield continued to dominate and extended their lead in the 45th minute when Danny Brough slotted over a penalty to make it 12-24.
Mahe Fonua was one of several Hull players who were having an absolute stinker. He epitomised that when he gave the ball away trying to find a miracle pass and Huddersfield seized the ball and rolled up the field easily. Two tackles later Tyler Dickinson crashed over and Jordan Rankin converted to further extend the lead to 18 points.
Things continued to get worse for Hull when Lee Gaskell grabbed his second of the game a few minutes later. From a standing start he went on an arcing run and beat Marc Sneyd with ease to glide over the try line. The conversion was missed so Hull trailed by 22 points with little over 20 minutes to go.
Hull had been awful but they almost found a way back into the game. Josh Griffin, Hull’s best player by a mile on the night, went on a rampaging run down the left wing and took Jordan Rankin over the line with him before grounding the ball. Sneyd converted from the touchline to make it 18-34.
From the very next set Hull surged upfield and suddenly looked at it. As quickly as their resurgence started to build it was snuffed out. Jansin Turgut juggled the ball as he was put through a gap and then failed to find Jake Connor on his inside with a sloppy low pass. Huddersfield scooped the ball up, rolled upfield and a few tackles later they killed the game off completely. Leeming scored in the corner and Rankin converted to make it 18-40.
That was the game well and truly done and it got even more humiliating for Hull when Lee Gaskell grabbed his hat trick in the 70th minute. He kicked through and chased it to put pressure on Fonua. Fonua fumbled it on the line, Gaskell scored and Fonua came out of it looking like he had picked up an injury. That summed up the night for Hull. Another Rankin conversion made it 18-46 and the Hull players and fans were praying for the final whistle.
Luckily a few minutes later they were put out of their misery and the Giants celebrated an impressive 18-46 win.
FT Hull FC 18-46 Huddersfield
Well what a dreadful way to prepare for Wembley next week! Only Josh Griffin and Jordan Thompson stood out in our opinion and the rest were awful. Wigan on the other hand will be flying high after dragging themselves back into the top four race by battering Salford.
Certain players have scuppered their chances of playing at Wembley tonight and probably made Lee Radford’s job easier for him. Hull will not be this bad next week their attitude was wrong tonight which is perhaps understandable but the fact is they will have to be bang at it next week. A home semi-final is now hanging in the balance with Hull now having to win at Headingley 5 days after Wembley and rely on other results.
For now though we have to look forward to next week and hope this is just a blip. Radders you have a big week ahead of you!