Scoring over forty points wasn’t too bad for a Hull FC side desperately needing a win, but blimey, someone needs to put Catalans out of their misery. They are shocking and are up there with the worst ever in Super League.
The Black and Whites coasted through that game, eventually winning it 42-16. The first half was like a training exercise, and in the second half the French outfit dismantled quicker than Megatron, after Optimus Prime, the giant killing super robot, ended his reign of terror. Some of their defence was pathetic and they gifted us a few tries. That team, on paper at least, should be nowhere near the foot of the table. It boasts internationals and a former New South Wales representative of only two years ago amongst its ranks. What that says about coach Steve McBanana is open to interpretation, but something is very sour in the South of France right now. They’re a team of individuals clearly. Some of their boys had a good game. Former Hull prop Sam Moa was excellent and they moved the ball better than I’ve seen in the games on Sky this year, but they are still atrociously bad. Hull didn’t have to do much to beat them.
We coasted through the first half but couldn’t capitalise on two early tries. We wasn’t perfect and there’s still a lot of improvement in us, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Albert Kelly on return, and as he always does, provided that extra bit of class to ease us around the field. He muscled up too in defence. The two centres Josh Griffin and in particular Carlos Tuimavave were good as well and benefitted from quick early ball. Still though, at times I thought we looked nervous in attack and it wasn’t until the second half we really got going. In that sense, to kill the game off so quickly after the break impressed me.
Fetuli Talanoa was instrumental in that. His yardage was exceptional, and after criticising him for not backing himself at Salford last week, it was pleasing to see him bust the line and peg his ears back. His work rate was class. He, along with the rest of the backs, got us going forward. It’s usually our pack that does that, but Catalans looked like they could handle us up front. It’s on the edges we killed them. Talanoa was really good, took his first try superbly, and was a constant menace throughout.
Back to the centres and Carlos really was excellent. I said in the fanzine (get your copy here) that although securing youngsters Masimbaashe Matongo and Brad Fash to new deals was great, signing Carlos up was the best piece of news of the lot. He’s dynamite on his night and that was him at his brilliant best. The assist for Talanoa’s try was sheer quality. On the other flank Griffin ran well and got himself two well taken tries. I really like him. He’s a big unit and makes some metres. He saw a lot of the ball and whilst he may want to practice the weight of his kicking, he performed admirably again, as did Jake Connor, who provided some class off the bench.
In the forwards Scott Taylor was very good. A 2016 type of performance where he ran the opposition defence ragged with his power and footwork. The way Tag has come back from appendicitis is a credit to him really. There was no moping about and he’s just got on with it like nothing has happened. Tough geezer. Elsewhere, Chris Green had a good stint from the start again, and I love the tenacious attitude of Fash. Despite getting smashed a couple of times he came back looking for more. That’s one area where Catalans looked decent. Their physicality was good, but there’s other aspects of their game that make them a complete joke.
Theres just something not right. This was a Hull team missing some key players as well. There was no Mickey Paea, Danny Houghton or Sika Manu. Instead Jordan Lane was given a first start and put in a huge stint getting vital first grade minutes into his locker. He never looked out of place either. Danny Washbrook meanwhile spelled the hooking role with Dean Hadley, and whilst the effort is never in question, the need for Mint’s return is evident. Still though, they’ve tried their damnest to cover the role, but luckily came up against opposition that resembled an under-8s defence at times.
As a result the win was never in doubt and all in all it was a satisfactory night. A 26-point winning margin should give us some confidence going into the Hull Derby on Good Friday. There was more gloating than Katie Price gives blowjobs on Twitter last week after the old enemy went above us on points difference, yes points difference, but normal service is resumed now, and how stupid will they look if we get the job done next week. We’re the Kings of Hull, and it’s time to go and prove that statement once again, as we get our 2018 season back on track.
Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jamie Shaul, 2. Bureta Faraimo, 4. Josh Griffin, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 6. Albert Kelly, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Scott Taylor, 17. Danny Washbrook, 15. Chris Green, 26. Jordan Lane, 12. Mark Minichiello, 11. Dean Hadley. Interchange: 13. Josh Bowden, 20. Brad Fash, 16. Jordan Abdull, 14. Jake Connor.
Hull Tries: Griffin 2, Talanoa 2, Taylor, Shaul, Connor. Goals: Sneyd 6/6, Connor 1/1
Hull 3-2-1 Man of the Match: 3pts Carlos Tuimavave, 2pts Fetuli Talanoa, 1pt Scott Taylor
Catalans Starting XIII: 31. Tony Gigot, 20. Lewis Tierney, 1. David Mead, 4. Brayden Wiliame, 5. Fouad Yaha, 6. Samisoni Langi, 22. Lucas Albert, 8. Remi Casty, 19. Michael McIllorum, 10. Sam Moa, 13. Greg Bird, 12. Benjamin Garcia, 17. Jason Baitieri. Interchange: 9. Paul Aiton, 14. Julian Bousquet, 15. Mikael Simon, 18. Thibaud Margalet.
Catalans Tries: Moa, Albert, Gigot. Goals: Albert 2/3
Scoring System: 6-0, 12-0, 12-4, 18-4, 24-4, 30-4, 36-4, 36-10, 36-16, 42-16
Referee: Jack Smith
Our Hull FC reports in 2018 are courteously produced by the Up the Cream Fanzine.
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