Hull FC 23-22 Hull KR
The widely anticipated Hull derby was worth the wait. A thrilling encounter for the supporters attending, it has been nearly two years since fans were at a Hull Derby. FC eventually ran out winners by a single point.
Hull were boosted by the return of several influential players, including match-winner Marc Sneyd and the ever-scheming Jake Connor. It was the full-back Connor who provided the Black and Whites assist to the first try after just two minutes. A looping pass to the winger Adam Swift who dived over in the corner. Hull thought they had a second try through Cameron Scott but this was denied by the video referee after Swift fumbled the ball in the build-up. The first half was a generally even affair, momentum-swinging both ways. It took until almost halfway through the half for the Robins to register points on the board after some sustained pressure. Brad Takairangi playing in the halves and with a looped pass for Jimmy Keinhorst. Keinhorst had a lot of work to do with the touchline so close but managed to score with an acrobatic effort. The former Leeds centre was making his first appearance of the season in Red and White and started unusually on the wing.
The video referee denied the Airlie birds for the second time in the game, ruling obstruction. KR were denied by some dogged goal-line defence by the hosts. That defence eventually cracked after some invention by Rowan Milnes. The young half-back trickled a grubber kick through a gap in the defensive line, chasing his own kick to put the visitors in the lead for the first and only time on the half-hour mark. With half-time looming Hull scored two quickfire tries. The first from a cross-field kick by Sneyd, Connor got up highest with a delicate one-handed flick to Carlos Tuimavave, who in turn fed his winger Bureta Faraimo for a walk-in try. The second came from a seemingly innocuous pass to the centre Tuimavave, it caught the Robins left edge off guard and allowed FC to lead at the break, 16-10.
Despite Hull FC ending the half on top, it was KR who struck first. Ben Crooks the man to score against his former club. Lined-up at full-back due to injuries, Crooks made good use of the positioning to be on the end of a training ground wrap around move, which levelled the game. It did not take long for the Black and Whites to regain the lead. Jake Connor provider again after a short pass put Faraimo in for his second try of the game. Despite the end-to-end nature of the game, only three points were scored in the next half an hour. Sneyd with all three, a penalty with just short of 20 minutes to go was followed by a decisive drop-goal on the 73rd minute. This gave the Black and Whites a seven-point advantage. Moments later Albert Vete crashed over from short range for Rovers. A late attempt at a drop-goal from Milnes was charged down, giving Hull FC the bragging rights and a slender one-point win.
From a Black and Whites point of view plenty of positives from the game, including the number of chances produced. Brett Hodgson will be pleased with the impact of Connor and Sneyd returning to the side after both spending time on the sideline. On the Red and Whites side, Tony Smith will be disappointed with the lack of creation at times. Rovers held their own just lacked a final punch to score points which let them down. A great derby to reintroduce fans to!
Report by: Simon Bromwich
Hull FC 23 (16)
Tries: Swift, Faraimo 2, Tuimavave. Goals: Sneyd 3. Drop-goal: Sneyd.
Connor; Swift, Scott, Tuimavave, Faraimo; Reynolds, Sneyd; Sao, Houghton, Fash, Manu, Savelio, Lane.
Interchanges: Brown, Cator, Shaul, Taylor.
Hull KR 22 (10)
Tries: Keinhorst, Milnes, Crooks, Vete. Goals: Crooks 3.
Crooks; Keinhorst, Minikin, Kenny-Dowall, Hall; Takairangi, Milnes; Vete, Parcell, King, Linnett, Johnson, Lawler.
Interchanges: Sims, Litten, Storton, Maher.