The Hull derby had little to play for but local pride as KR faced FC at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens. FC would get very close to the Leeds Rhinos on win percentage after the Rhinos lost in the earlier game against Wakefield Trinity but KR we already too far adrift to get to get into a play-off place, a knew that a win wouldn’t lift them off the bottom.
FC were favourites with the bookies to take the bragging rights, but the form book counts for little in the local derby. Both coaches will have spent the week planning for the clash and motivating their players.
Ben Crooks had the ball dislodged by Ratu Naulago on seven minutes as he stretched to score. Two minutes later is was a try down the other end of the field as Josh Bowden broke through the defensive off a Joe Cator pass to dive over for the first points of the game. Marc Sneyd added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.
KR hit back on fifteen when Dan Hadley stretched for the line and scored against his former side, Will Dagger added the goal to level the scores.
Within two minutes Jake Connor put a kick to the corner which was collected by Bureta Faraimo on the KR line who grounded. The video referee couldn’t get a clear view and went with the onfield decision of a try. Sneyd converted from the left touchline for a 12-0 lead.
Kane Linnett scored a try on twenty-eight after taking a crash ball from Jordan Abdull and crashing through the defence to get the ball on the ground. Dagger was again accurate with the boot and with twenty-eight minutes on the clock the sides were level again.
Again within two minutes, the lead was restored when Naulogo found space on the wing to leap and ground. Sneyd pulled his goal line conversion attempt wide of the uprights in a tit-for-tat game which was, so far, ripping up the formbook.
Four minutes from the interval Ligi Sao took a Connor inside pass to go five metres and score under the sticks. Sneyd added the conversion for a ten-point lead for the Airlie Birds.
The second half was two minutes old when Connor put Faraimo over for his second try of the night by the left corner flag, Connor was bossing the game and intergral in every FC play. Sneyd was off target again with his conversion attempt.
FC sealed the win on sixty-two as Naulago went over for his second of the night taking a Carlos Tuimavave pass to stoop and score one-handed. Sneyd hit the near upright with his conversion attempt, the Airlie Birds eighteen points ahead.
Sneyd dropped a twenty-metre goal on sixty-five to take the difference out to four tries, and eliminate any doubt which remained about the outcome.
On the first play after having a try turned down by the video referee, Ben Crooks found a massive overlap and ten metres for undefended territory to run into for the third KR try, Dagger was unable to add the conversion.
It was a close encounter early on but once FC hit their straps they punished some poor KR handling and defence and ran in three unanswered tries and a drop goal to take the two points and get close to fifth placed Leeds Rhinos as they kept alive their push for a play-off place. KR are now further adrift at the bottom and this loss makes it increasingly likely that they will end the season propping up the rest of the league.
Hull KR: Dagger (2G), Crooks (T), Kenny-Dowall, Linnett (T), Rawsthorne, Abdull, Lewis, Lawler, Parcell, King, Hauraki, Hadley (T), Minchella. Subs: Mulhern, Gee, Maher, Milnes.
Hull FC: Connor, Faraimo (2T), Fonua, Tuimavave, Naulago (2T), McNamara, Sneyd (3G, DG), Taylor, Johnstone, Bowden (T), Ma’u, Savelio, Cator. Subs: Houghton, Satae, Sao (T), Fash.
Referee: Liam Moore.
Half Time: 12-22.
Full Time: 16-31.
Venue: Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens.