Albert Kelly grabbed a double as Hull put together a comprehensive performance against a lifeless Salford Red Devils side to run away 24 point victors at the AJ Bell Stadium.
3 games in 7 days kills quality of performance
Salford came out and offered absolutely nothing in the first half, and even went as far to set up a Hull try with a bombed set play. They leaked 22 points in the first half without Hull even having to play for many of them. Unfortunately, it seems as though they’ve had the energy sucked out of them by the congested bank holiday schedule, as have Hull, but to a lesser extent.
The black and whites instead decided to front load their energy and built an unassailable lead in the first half, only to offer very little in the second part of the second half. Ultimately, the forgettable nature of this game is not helped by the players’ low energy levels that hang over from the congested schedule the weekend prior. Something needs to change, because no one wants to watch that sort of game.
Albert Kelly, Robert Lui, and Jamie Shaul the best of a bad bunch
In what was a rather underwhelming game played out between two particularly negative sides, there were some positives that were few and far between. Salford came out with no energy and Hull couldn’t be bothered to play after the first part of the second half, which made for a very unentertaining contest where both sides may as well have agreed to call it at 60 minutes gone.
Despite this, Albert Kelly and Jamie Shaul proved to be the key men for Hull FC, both creating and scoring tries for the black and whites. Kelly continues to be one of the stand out half backs in Super League, something which was characterised by his use of both feet when dribbling the ball 30 metres to the goal line to cross and score. Jamie Shaul also finished off a great 80m solo effort, where he looked to have been caught twice while eluding the cover defence to crash over in the corner.
Finally, unlike the rest of his side that seemingly had leaden legs, Robert Lui showed great heart throughout the performance and seemed to be all over the pitch in both attack and defence. He was creating the majority of things for Hull in attack, and while he is not renowned for his defence, he provided cover defence on numerous occasions for his error-ridden teammates. While it’s a slightly cynical view, there were very few stand outs in the game, and it’ll be nice to see both sides get a bit more stability to play off when their first choice hookers come back into either side.
Salford revert to the lacklustre Red Devils of old
Even after the first 10 minutes of the game, it was clear that Salford weren’t at the races. The Red Devils’ performance echoed one of which you would have seen from them last season. From the moment Fetuli Talanoa converted Jake Connors nonchalant chip without a marked defensive challenge, Salford looked a shell of the team we have seen earlier this season. They lacked motivation to make ground in yardage sets and looked disjointed in attack; on one occasion gifting Albert Kelly a 50m run in from a loose pass.
Murdoch-Masila and Junior Sa’u were easily neutralised by Hull’s left and right edge defence, and O’Brien lacked the cutting edge he usually possesses. Although they scored a couple of consolation tries in the second half as Hull became complacent with their lead, they never actually looked like piercing the Hull defence in the first half. The lack of potency in attack can only be worrying for Ian Watson when considering that they were full of points just a week ago. As I mentioned earlier in the piece, it looks as though the congested fixture period has broken them, and if they can’t get back on track in the next one, they’ll be staring down a poor Super 8s campaign.
Salford Red Devils: (0) 10
Tries: Evalds, Hauraki Goals: Dobson
Hull FC: (22) 34
Tries: Talanoa, Kelly 2, Washbrook, Tuimavave, Shaul Goals: Connor 5