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After a round nine packed with shock outcomes in favour of the underdogs, the confusion in the final fixture of the weekend was to understand whether a Hull FC side who had only won once in the 2024 season, or a Leeds Rhinos side who seem adept at engineering defeats when wins look the most likely outcome, were the real underdogs.

Hull FC gave debuts to new signing Ed Chamberlain and Yusuf Aydin while the Rhinos gave a debut to the nineteen your old Riley Lumb his debut on the wing in place of David Fusitu’a.

The bookies chose Hull FC as the underdogs, handicapping the Rhinos by fourteen points on the coupon and in the week of upsets suggested that it was a cast iron win for the Airlie Birds but a win for neither side would likely improve their current league positions.

The Rhinos started the game well but couldn’t create a scoring opportunity and on their first real attack of the game it was the home side who opened the scoring with Morgan Smith taking a pass from Jack Walker to accelerate over and score to the delight of the home support. Jack Charles added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.

A sensational debut try for Rhinos Riley Lumb, ripping through the left edge Hull FC defence to score from thirty metres as he danced through the flailing attempted tackles. Rhyse Martin added the conversion to level the scores.

Both sides were making unforced errors, it wasn’t a great spectacle.

On twenty-nine the Rhinos went for the corner but a great defensive tackle from Hull FC put Luis Roberts into touch before he could ground in the corner. Tow minutes later and Liam Sutcliffe was held on his back over the Leeds line on the last tackle, the Rhinos surviving.

On thirty-four Lumb and Paul Momirovski chased down a Brodie Croft grubber kick to the corner and despite appearing to get in one another’s way, Lumb won the race and grounded the ball with the try being given by the video referee despite an on-field decision of no try.  Martin added the conversion to give the Rhinos a six-point advantage going into the break.

The Rhinos extended their lead eleven minutes after the restart, Brodie Croft providing the pass, skipper Cam Smith breaking the line and sliding over for the try. Martin added the conversion for 18-6.

Within two minutes the Airlie Birds were back in it after a Leeds error from the kick off which allowed Hull to move the ball right with Lewis Martin diving in to score at the corner. Charles added the touchline conversion, the margin back down to six points.

On fifty-eight Andy Ackers scooted for the line but was held short, the ball being dislodged from his grasp by Walker to be picked up by Momirovski who grounded under the sticks. The video referee was again consulted and over-ruled the on field official to rule out the try after determining that the ball was lost in the tackle.

Chamberlain and Roberts challenged for a high kick in the Leeds goal area on sixty-six with the referee deciding that it was the Leeds man who had knocked the ball dead, but Hull couldn’t take advantage of the goal line drop out.

A Croft attempted drop goal on seventy-one sailed well wide of the uprights, Hull with a seven-tackle set, Leeds turn to defend their own line and thwart the opposition.

A Matt Frawley attempted 40-20 went out on the full on seventy-four and immediately put the Rhinos back under pressure but again their defence was up to the challenge as the clock moved into the last five minutes.

Hull were on the attack in the dying minutes, but the Rhinos managed to hold on for the two points and will be breathing a massive sigh of relief that they didn’t fall victim to the round nine favourites curse.

This was an ugly game between two sides who are low on confidence and who can both feel the 2024 season slipping from their grasp. Lots of unforced errors, and some poor decision making, bore testament to the issues which both are suffering. It was the Rhinos who earned the critical two points but there was still plenty of room for improvement. Hull FC register yet another loss in a season of losses, thankful for London Broncos and their awful 2024.

Hull FC: Walker, Martin (T), Chamberlain, Sutcliffe, Tindall, Smith (T), Charles (2/2G), Ese’ese, Houghton, Brown, Lane, Sao, Cator.  Subs: Aydin, Gardiner, Moy, Pele. 18th Man: Jebson.

Leeds Rhinos: Miller, Lumb (2T), Momirovski, Martin (3/3G), Roberts, Croft, Frawley, Oledzki, Ackers, Sangare, McDonnell, Goudemand, Smith (T). Subs: Lisone, Edgell, O’Connor, Ruan. 18th Man: Nicholson-Watton. 

Half-Time: 6-12.

Full-Time: 12-18.

Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 6-4, 6-6, 6-10, 6-12: HT: 6-16, 6-18, 10-18, 12-18 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Hull FC – Square – Leeds.

Referee: Liam Rush.  

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 28th Apr 2024 4:49 PM | Views : 5198 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES