Catalans hit injury hit Hull for six as they dominate in East Yorkshire. Here;s what happened.
Third-placed Hull faced the Catalans Dragons looking to cement their place and it looked promising when Mickey Paea opened the try scoring giving Hull a 6-2 lead.
However, the Dragons exploited Hull’s right edge on numerous occasions, running in three tries before half time.
Hull failed to land a blow in the second half, if only Catalans could take their chances it would have been more widespread.
The game started in equal fashion with a penalty giving the French outfit an advantage, before Paea made it a try in each of the last two home games.
The Dragons took the lead when Fouad Yaha grounded a kick in the corner. Sam Tomkins converted to give Catalans an 8-6 lead.
Tony Gigot extended their lead as he grounded a Brayden Williame grubber. Williame then turned try scorer as he burst down the line and was unable to be stopped, their third try within 10 minutes.
Jake Connor was sent to the sin bin after disputing a decision by Ben Thaler.
Any chance of a Hull fight back looked slim when Sam Romano extended their lead. Five minutes later, Matt Whitley got on the scoresheet as Hull’s defence yet again was split. Tomkins once again converted from out wide to give a 30-6 lead.
The game went into a bit of a lull, with Hull never testing. However, Catalans had a couple of key chances which they didn’t take.
A Gigot drop goal looked to be the final scoring but Samisoni Langi got over with a minute to go. Tomkins converted again to round off a solid Dragons performance.
Injuries took its toll
Hull came into the fixture with 17 missing players, including critically their halfback pairing of Albert Kelly and Marc Sneyd. With a make shift partnership of Joe Westerman and Jake Connor, this made it a difficult night against an organised Dragons side.
Catalans up to fourth
The win moves the French side up to fourth, a huge achievement for a side who this time last year were struggling. With a mixture of youth and experience, it is an exciting time for Steve McNamara, especially after winning the Challenge Cup last year.
Ill-discipline won’t help
Jake Connor is known for how he winds up players; however the side of his game which is a problem is how he can lose his head. In pre-season he was sent to the bin for a similar incident and received a one-match ban. Will he miss Castleford next week? We will find out in due course.
Can they go back to back?
Catalans will be looking to win the Challenge Cup for the second year in a row, looking to repeat what Hull did in 2016 and 2017. They start their defence at home to Doncaster next weekend. Last season they became the first non-English side to win the Challenge Cup.
Hull FC 6
Drop Goals: n/a
Catalans Dragons 37
Tries: Yaha, Gigot, Williame, Romano, Whitley, Langi
Goals: Tomkins 6
Drop Goals: Gigot
Hull FC: Wynne, Faraimo, Logan, Griffin, Buchanan, Westerman, Connor, Taylor, Houghton, Paea, Manu, Minichiello, Ellis.
Interchanges: Matongo, Green, Fash, Thompson.
Catalans: Gigot, Romano, Langi, Wiliame, Yaha, Bird, Tomkins, Casty, Da Costa, Moa, Whitley, Goudemand, Baitieri.
Interchanges: Bousquet, Belmas, Albert, Kasiano.