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An emotionally charged Leeds Rhinos travelled across the M62 for a Saturday afternoon encounter with a Hull FC side who had already been written off for this game, and the season, by their supporters and pundits.

The Rhinos needed a win to keep in touch with the top six as they looked to sneak a play-off place while a big points win would bolster their puny looking points difference as it might be crucial later in the season, whereas Hull FC simply needed a win, and they would take it any way that they could.

The Airlie Birds had an eight-point start on the coupon, the bookies expecting a closer encounter than most Black & Whites fans who were fearful of another big loss.

A Leeds ball steal on their own line on three minutes presented the first try scoring opportunity to FC and on the second tackle Jordan Lane went through a crowd of Leeds men and over the line but spilled the ball in the act of scoring. An early escape for the Rhinos.

On eight minutes Brodie Croft picked up a loose ball to score from ten metres out but the referee and video official determined that David Fusitu’a knocked on in the build-up. There was little to choose between the two sides in the opening exchanges.

Driving rain was affecting both sides who were making error after error, the Black & Whites looking the most likely to break the deadlock.

With just over three minutes of the first half remaining the deadlock was finally broken by Hull FC when Lewis Martin took a looping Jake Trueman pass to the wing and wrongfooted the Rhinos defenders to score from five metres out. Ben Reynolds conversion went between the uprights from the touchline for a 6-0 home lead.

As the half time hooter warmed up Denive Balmforth pushed his way through a crowd of Rhinos defenders to ground on the line. Reynolds was on target again for a 12-0 half time lead, the Rhinos in disarray, the home fans ecstatic.

A brilliant offload from Carlos Tuimavave and excellent dedication to keeping the ball alive by the Hull attack saw Cameron Scott go over for the third try of the afternoon. Reynolds added a third conversion for 18-0, the game ebbing away from the Rhinos.

Leeds opening try came on fifty-five when Ash Handley chased down a Brodie Croft kick to the corner and after Harry Newman was unable to ground, he pounced to force the ball down. Rhyse Martin was unable to add the conversion from wide, Leeds still fourteen points adrift.

Tom Briscoe was sin-binned on seventy-one for interference at the play the ball, Hull to complete the game with a man down but Leeds were running out of time, still needing three scores.

A spectacular Leeds try, Harry Newman collecting an Ash Handley pass which flicked off the hand of a Hull defender to dive over in the corner, Martin added the conversion, Leeds eight adrift with three minutes of the game remaining, it was too little and too late.

This was Hull’s first win in eleven outings and only their second win of the season as they lift themselves two points ahead of the London Broncos at the bottom of the table. Leeds are in deeper trouble and have a lot to do to make the top six after a lacklustre performance filled with errors. Hull FC celebrating tonight, Leeds trudging back to Headingley to lick their wounds.

Hull FC: Moy, Briscoe (SB on 71), Tuimavave, Sutcliffe, Martin (T), Trueman, Reynolds (3/3 G), Ese’Ese, Smith, Sao, Lane, Scott (T), Fash.  Subs: Ashworth, Balmforth (T), Aydin, Chan. 18th Man: Litten.

Leeds Rhinos: Miller, Handley (T), Momirovski, Newman (T), Fusitu’a, Croft, Frawley, Oledzki, O’Connor, Goudemand, McDonnell, Martin (1/2 G), Smith. Subs: Lisone, Sangare, Johnson, Holroyd. 18th Man: Egdell. 

Half-Time: 12-0.

Full-Time: 18-10.

Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 10-0, 12-0 : HT: 16-0, 18-0, 18-4, (SB), 18-8, 18-10 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Hull FC.

Referee: Liam Moore.  

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 15th Jun 2024 4:53 PM | Views : 3171 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES