In the end the win was all that mattered, and despite sections of the fan base moaning about the game being on, the two points gained and the lack of fixture congestion later in the season following a potential postponement all constitutes for what was a satisfactory night for all concerned with Hull FC.
It wasn’t a free-flowing spectacle by any stretch of the imagination, but with a 21-12 scoreline going our way, it was a win. An ugly win. A sort of win top sides grind out and a sort of fixture that this team have learned to negotiate. Baring a ten or so minute spell in the second half, Hull were completely in control, which was pleasing to see, even if feeling in the hands and feet was lost by half time.
Going into the contest on the back of two Super League defeats, it was a much needed win too. Getting the two points wasn’t an absolute necessity, it’s early days yet, but it gets us back on track, ahead of a visit to our least favourite away ground Headingley this Thursday night. Scenes if we somehow manage to pull that off.
Hull, as freezing temperatures, wind and snow flirted with the KCOM ground, smartly kept the scoreboard ticking with penalty goals. Ultimately that was the difference, with two tries a piece and a 13-point haul from kicking sensation Marc Sneyd spilting the sides. Bureta Faraimo and Carlos Tuimavave crossed over for tries, with the right edge showing up well, and to no surprise following Sika Manu’s return. The biggest concern post-Castleford was that area, so to see it so assured once again was pleasing. Manu, following a stint in Tonga aiding the country after a recent cyclone, was at his imposing best. He looked to punch holes in Warrington’s defence all night in a strong display of line running. Faraimo was decent too, but the night belonged to Tuimavave, who was outstanding on the left edge.
The outside back was sensational. Out of contract at the end of the season, one still wonders where his long term future is, but with a desire to stay, the two parties should come to an agreement soon. Carlos is about as athletic as they get. A freakishly talented rugby league player, he was defensively solid and ran well too in a all round performance. He was brilliant, and there a few superlatives out there to actually do justice to that display. Arguably his best for the club.
Elsewhere, Danny Washbrook and Dean Hadley both put in bags of effort and seemed to be involved in everything, whilst young Brad Fash continued his rise with another stellar display. Another out of contract at the end of the year, you’d sense it won’t be long before an announcement is made. Credit must also go to Scott Taylor too playing just three weeks after appendicitis, and to Josh Griffin, another who was rinsed at Cas, but who performed well this week. The same can be said of Jamie Shaul. What’s that saying, form is temporary, class is permanent. Couldn’t be more appropriate here.
But amongst all that Jake Connor again took most of the attention during and post-match. He’s another naturally gifted player that can do things others can only dream of. His 40/20 was an absolute peach, and his running game was strong too, as was his ability to wind up and get under the skin of his opposition. Sort.
Of course it wasn’t the most blistering of Hull FC displays. Super League has been very stale over the opening rounds. That could be down to the cold weather, player rustiness or the fact the current structure holds little excitement until July. Whatever the reasoning though, games have struggled to lighten up the crowds or watching television audience. This one had its moments in the second half but the first half was atrocious. Both sides levelled each other out and showed little invention in attack, with Hull taking a 10-0 lead into the break.
It took a sending off really to liven things up. Declan Patton was dismissed for a high shot on Faraimo. That was the second head knock already this season for the winger and concussion protocols may well keep him out of the Leeds game. Liam Watts was then sent off for a head butt on Dominic Crosby. It wasn’t the most malicious collusion we’ve ever seen, but it was a head explosion that infruriated head coach Lee Radford and one that will no doubt see a ban follow.
Watts usually has the right amount of wrong in him but this was pretty much inexcusable. Crosby was all over him, but you can’t lash out like that. He’s let his team mates down on this occasion with Mickey Paea already ruled out, but he’ll no doubt make up for it later in the season. He’s a class act is Watts, let’s not forget that.
By this point too Warrington gave it a right good crack having gone down to twelve men. Both Jack Hughes and Ryan Atkins crossed over for tries in a spirited showing, but Sneyd’s boot was enough to close the game out, with an easy on the eye one pointer rounding proceedings off. Job done, then, and on to Leeds we go.
Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jamie Shaul, 2. Bureta Faraimo, 4. Josh Griffin, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 14. Jake Connor, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Scott Taylor, 17. Danny Washbrook, 10. Liam Watts, 21. Sika Manu, 12. Mark Minichiello, 11. Dean Hadley. Interchange: 13. Josh Bowden, 20. Brad Fash, 16. Jordan Abdull, 25. Jansin Turgut.
Hull Tries: Faraimo, Tuimavave. Goals: Sneyd 6/6. Drop Goal: Sneyd
Hull 3-2-1 Man of the Match: 3pts Carlos Tuimavave, 2pts Jake Connor, 1pt Sika Manu
Warrington Starting XIII: 1. Stefan Ratchford, 2. Tom Lineham, 3. Bryson Goodwin, 4. Ryan Atkins, 21. Mitch Brown, 15. Declan Patton, 7. Tyrone Roberts, 8. Chris Hill, 9. Daryl Clark, 10. Mike Cooper, 13. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 12. Jack Hughes, 34. Ben Westwood. Interchange: 17. Joe Philbin, 16. Sitaleki Akauola, 14. Dominic Crosby, 18. Toby King.
Warrington Tries: Hughes, Atkins. Goals: Ratchford 2/2.
Scoring System: 2-0, 8-0, 10-0, 12-0, 18-0, 18-6, 18-12, 20-12, 21-12.
Attendance: 10,041 – alledgedly.
Referee: Ben Thaler
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