Hull FC progressed to the quarter finals of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup with a 38-20 victory over Championship side Featherstone, despite finishing the game with just nine men.
It only took Hull four minutes to get on the scoreboard. A looping pass from Jake Connor found Josh Griffin who broke through a two man tackle just before the halfway line, before passing back to Connor to go over.
The Black and Whites then had to deal with an injury to Josh Bowden, who looks like he may have dislocated his knee at first glance. Sika Manu then stretched over for the second try of the night in the ninth minute after some lacklustre Featherstone defence.
Connor then added his second after some mistimed Rovers defence with twelve minutes gone and added his third conversion of the night to make it 18-0.
Featherstone finally got their scoreboard rolling when Anthony Thackeray out-muscled some patchy Hull defence to score against his former club to make it 18-4.
Jamie Shaul added Hull’s fourth of the night with the fullback going the length of the pitch to score with 26 minutes gone.
Griffin was next on the scoresheet after a short pass from Connor in a reversal from the first try to make it 30-4 after 33 minutes.
Luke Briscoe added his 27th try of the season and equalled the 82-year-old scoring record of Eric Harris’, scoring in 17 consecutive games to make it 30-10 on 35 minutes.
Further injury for Hull as Carlos Tuimavave was helped off the field just before the hooter.
Rovers were the first side to score after the break. Briscoe added his second of the night to make it 30-16 to Hull.
Jamie Shaul was nearly casualty number three for Hull as Masi Taulapapa took out Shaul as he went to catch a kick through, Taulapapa “mistimed the tackle” according to referee Scott Mikalauskas and was lucky to get away with just a penalty.
Shaul stayed on the field luckily for Hull before Fetuli Talanoa looked like he twisted over on his ankle awkwardly during a tackle.
Bureta Faraimo added Hull’s sixth try of the night despite now being down to just the one substitute to make it 34-16. Luke Briscoe was then sin-binned after holding down Jamie Shaul in front of the posts.
Faraimo added his second of the night running 90m to make it 38-16 after Tom Holmes spilled the ball in attack.
Featherstone then had a second player sent to the sin-bin with John Davies taking his ten minutes on the sideline for a high tackle on Jez Litten, not long after Briscoe returned to the fray.
It was then a messy period for both sides as there were many lazy tackles with both captains being told to speak to their troops.
Gareth Hock added Featherstone’s fourth try of the evening after some sleepy Hull defence in the 75th minute. Taulapapa was then helped off the field as well with an injury.
The game turned almost farcical as everyone lost count of the number of cards being show. The fourth and fifth sin-bins followed as Brad Knowles and Jake Connor were shown yellow cards.
Jamie Shaul was next in the bin for a professional foul before Bureta was shown a red for an unnecessary high tackle. An awful end to what was a great, physical cup tie.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Hull’s injury woes
Josh Bowden, Carlos Tuimavave and Fetuli Talanoa all went off with undetermined injuries for the Black and Whites.
Jamie Shaul was winded also after Taulapapa’s early attempted tackle so whether he is 100% percent is what the Hull medical team will spending the next week assessing.
With nine days until the trip to Newcastle, Hull will welcome the time off to hopefully get some bodies back for the derby against Hull KR.
Rovers made more mistakes in the first 20 minutes or so than they have done in their entire last match.
Knock-ons and defensive errors galore, Featherstone looked like they were going to be in for a long night. They managed to find their feet further into the first half and continued throughout the second half.
They didn’t look far off at times and matched Hull for aggression and tenacity with some smart attacking plays. You can see why they’re in third in the Championship this season with potential of getting an elusive Super League spot.
FEATHERSTONE Rovers 20
Tries: Thackeray, Briscoe 2, Hock
Goals: Ridyard 2
HULL FC 38
Tries: Connor 2, Manu, Shaul, Griffin, Faraimo 2
Goals: Connor 5
Featherstone Rovers: Thackeray, Briscoe, Hardcastle, Taulapapa, Robinson, Ridyard, Holmes, Wheeldon, Carlile, Knowles, Farrell, Davies, Lockwood.
Interchanges: Wildie, Hock, Cooper, Brooks.
Hull FC: Shaul, Faraimo, Griffin, Hadley, Talanoa, Connor, Tuimavave, Green, Houghton, Bowden, Manu, Minichiello, Westerman.
Interchanges: Matongo, Washbrook, Litten, Lane.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas