Hull FC stretched their winning run in the Hull derby to seven games by beating arch rivals Hull KR 34-22 to round off the 2018 Magic Weekend.
Jamie Shaul and Jake Connor put in brilliant performances as the Black and Whites ultimately had too much for their cross-city rivals and ran out comfortable winners in the end.
Rovers had started the better side and scored the first try of the match when Kieran Moss scored the first of his three impressive tries in the fifteenth minute. Hat-trick man Moss was a strong candidate for Man of the Match, but his teammates weren’t able to match his clinical nature.
The tide turned when FC got a huge stroke of luck just seven minutes later. A punted kick forward looked far too long for anyone to latch onto, until the ball came crashing back off the bar off the cross-bar, Scott Taylor the lucky recipient of a kind bounce, before touching down.
Liam Harris claimed a debut try before Shaul got on the scoresheet himself after a brilliant drive and feed from Mark Minichiello allowed him to hold off a couple of opponents before diving over the line.
Both teams were subject to mass injury numbers and the trait continued with three players being forced off during the course of a very physical game. Understandably, the depleted Rovers side began to tire, and they weren’t helped when Ben Kavanagh was put in the sin bin for a needless shoulder charge ten minutes into the second half.
Tommy Lee gave Hull Kingston Rovers a consolation score after tries from Shaul, Jack Logan and Connor made made the points safe for Hull FC.
After wins over Catalans and Featherstone, Hull will look to stretch their winning run to four games when they visit Warrington Wolves on Friday.
Rovers meanwhile, find themselves at the foot of the Betfred Super League table and will want to halt a run of just one win in their last nine matches in all competitions when they welcome Wigan Warriors to KCOM Craven Park in just five days’ time.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
FC are ruthless
Whenever Hull came forward, you felt as though they might score. Yes, KR are currently the worst side in Super League if you look at the league table, but to have as many injuries as FC do and still look threatening every time they stepped over the half way line shows their strength in depth; which will be important in their quest for glory this season.
Kieran Moss could be KR’s saviour
As many people expected at the start of the season, staying in Super League is going to be a difficult task Hull Kinston Rovers, but not many people expected Kieran Moss to be as good as he has been.
To score a treble at this level and still be on the losing side shows how much quality this young man has and if he stays fir, the Hull KR have a good chance of staying up.
Man Of The Match – Jake Connor (Hull FC)
Kieran Moss’ hattrick was enough to make him many people’s Man of the Match this evening, but I’m giving it to Jake Connor. Able to play as Stand Off and Full Back, Connor is an integral member of FC’s squad and he showed his quality today.
As well as putting the icing on the cake with Hull’s final try tonight, coupled with making five of his six kicks, the 23-year-old drove his teammates forwards at crucial moments and was by far their stand-out player.
Ben Barba probably has the Man of Steel award on his mantlepiece already, but if Connor plays like this every week, he’ll gain lots of recognition too.
Hull KR 22
Tries: Moss (3), Lee
Goals: Shaw (3)
Drop Goals: n/a
Hull FC 34
Tries: Taylor, Shaul (2), Harris, Logan, Connor
Goals: Connor (5)
Drop Goals: n/a
Hull KR: Quinlan; Shaw, Salter, Vaivai, Moss; Blair, Lee; Masoe, Smith, Scruton, Tickle, Clarkson, Donaldson. Interchanges: Greenwood, Kavanagh, Atkin, Walne.
Hull FC: Shaul; Griffin, Scott, Yeaman, Logan; Connor, Harris; Taylor, Houghton, Green, Minichiello, Manu, Westerman. Interchanges: Hadley, Paea, Miloudi, Matongo.
Referee: Ben Thaler