Hull FC 10 – 27 Catalans Dragons
431 days since fans last entered the KCOM stadium to support the Airlie Birds. That last game proved to the last for Lee Radford, the future Castleford Tigers boss. That day ended in a defeat to Warrington Wolves. Following Redford’s sacking and under the leadership of his assistant, Andy Last, FC made a surprising burst in the Super League play-offs at the end of last season. This season with the stewardship of once Man of Steel, Brett Hodgson, Hull had an impressive start to the season with four victories and a draw, also reaching a Challenge Cup semi-final last weekend. Facing an on-song Catalans Dragons side with only one defeat in Super League this season. The game perfectly set up for a return of the supporter’s roar.
The first half was a tightly fought affair. James Maloney was the man to get the scoring underway as the Dragons won a penalty in the opening 4 minutes. Maloney was also the man set to the sin bin less than ten minutes later for a professional foul. With Catalans down to 12, FC capitalised, Mahe Fonua powered over in the corner for the game’s first try. It was the only points Hodgson’s side would score first half. The visitors levelled things up moments later. Carlos Tuimavave found himself sent to the sin bin for an off the ball incident. The resulting penalty was converted by Arthur Mourgue. Half time came with the sides level at 4-4.
It looked to be a perfect start to the second half for the Black and Whites when some smart movement of the ball sent Josh Reynolds over for a try in front of jubilant fans. Catalans took control of the game from thereon. Sam Kasiano’s try twinned with a James Maloney conversion levelled the game once more. The Dragons hit the front with 15 minutes to go Mike McMeeken continuing his good form, dotting down in the corner. Maloney picked up a drop goal to make it a 7-point game. From there Hodgson’s men unravelled. First Chris Satae was yellow-carded meaning FC ended the game with 12, from there Tom Davies scored two tries. The late tries made the game look worse for FC than perhaps was deserved. Despite the result, fans seemed to enjoy their return. Head coach Hodgson had this to say post-match: “I’m disappointed that we didn’t play well enough to get the result and the crowds coming back is brilliant. You could hear the atmosphere, they tried to get us home but unfortunately, we weren’t good enough today.”
Report by: Simon Bromwich
Hull FC 10 (4)
Tries: Fonua, Reynolds. Goal: Sneyd
Catalans Dragons 27 (4)
Tries: Kasiano, McMeeken, Davies 2. Goals: Maloney 4, Mourgue. Drop-goal: Maloney.
Published – 18th May 2021