Fourth placed Hull FC were up against ninth placed Huddersfield Giants in the second Anfield Magic game on Saturday afternoon. A win by twenty-five points or more would lift the Airlie Birds into third spot, but the Giants were also desperate for the points, at the wrong end of the table.
This is the first Magic meeting between these two sides, in its thirteen season history. Huddersfield have an excellent Magic record with eight wins from their twelve outings but the on-the-road games are a poor hunting ground for FC, who have only managed wins on five occasions.
The bookies and pundits could only see one winner, the Hull side who beat the Giants by a twenty point margin back in March, but those who travelled from West Yorkshire were hoping that their side could defy the form book.
The opening points came from a dreadful Hull mistake as Joe Wardle touched down a Oliver Russell kick which was missed in goal by Jamie Shaul as he slipped and fell allowing the Huddersfield centre a simple touch down try. Russell added the conversion and the underdogs were 6-0 ahead.
McGillvary went close to touching down his own kick thorugh on sixteen but the ball was kicked dead by Marc Sneyd. But it was brief respite as Jake Wardle took an inside pass from Innes Senior to score ten in from the left cornerflag. Russell couldn’t add the conversion from wide.
On twenty-seven Adam O’Brien grabbed a short range try, going over under the sticks with a scoot from acting half back. Hull FC were stunned, they were being battered by the Giants who were once again finding Magic to their liking. Russell added the extras for a 16-0 lead.
Just after the half hour Darnel McIntosh got the fourth unanswered Giants try after the ball was given some air. Russell failed to add the conversion ut trailing by 20-0, the Airlie Birds fans had been silenced.
Russell added a drop goal on thirty-eight, in off the upright to extend the lead to 21-0. Sneyd finally got Hull’s first points of the game, after the half-time hooter had sounded, with a penalty goal but FC had a second half mountain to climb.
Early Giants pressure in the second half paid dividends when O’Brien scored his second of the game going from acting half-back through a massive hole in the Hull defence for a short range try. Russell added the conversion for 27-2.
McIntosh got in on the brace act on fifty-two thanks to some terrible Hull defence as he spun out of two tackles to drop over the line and score. Russell added the conversion for a massive 33-2 lead.
On fifty-seven Alex Mellor inflicted more pain on Hull when he powered through Sneyd to ground on the line for the seventh Huddersfield try. Once again Russell added the conversion for 39-2, the Airlie Birds and their supporters just wanted the horror to end.
The forty was brought up when Jermaine McGillvary was on hand to take the pass after a Kruise Leeming break to go over in the corner. Russell added his sixth goal of the afternoon for 45-2 will fifteen minutes still remaining.
Aaron Murphy was on hand to take a McGillvary pass after the winger took a high kick to the corner. The loose forward made it 49-2 but Russell was unable to add the extra two. This was a stuffing for the Airlie Birds.
It was fifty on seventy-seven when McGillvary found an acre of space wide right to walk over and then improve the angle to give Russell an easier conversion for a final score of 55-2.
An incredible Huddersfield Giants performance, probably their best of the season, against a truly awful and ineffective Hull FC who had no answer against a procession of ten Giants tries. Once Huddersfield got on a roll then there was no stopping them as they ran riot and stunned the Black and Whites. Back to the drawing board for Lee Radford, a platform to build on for the Giants.
FC: Shaul, Buchanan, Griffin, Connor, Naulago, Kelly, Sneyd (G), Taylor, Washbrook, Paea, Hadley, Minichiello, Westerman. Subs: Bowden, Green, Manu, Fash.
Giants: McIntosh (2T), McGillvary (2T), Turner, Wardle Joe (T), Senior, Gaskell, Russell (7G, DG), English, O’Brien (2T), Matago, Wardle Jake (T), Mellor (T), Murphy (T). Subs: Leeming, Clough, Lawrence, Ta’ai.
Referee: Liam Moore.