Hull FC 6
Goals: Rankin 1/1
Hull KR 20
Tries: Campese, Dixon, Lunt
Goals: Mantellato 4/4
Hull KR ran out comfortable winners at The KC Stadium to win the first Hull derby of the season.
Rovers move 4th in the table after recording their second successive Super League win – the first time they have won back-to-back games since May last year.
The Black and Whites stay second bottom after their sixth defeat in their last seven matches.
The Robins’ captain Terry Campese scored the first try of the match after four minutes to celebrate the new contract extension he signed earlier this week. Full-back Kieran Dixon evaded three would-be tacklers before being stopped around 10 metres from the Hull FC try line. A quick play-the-ball enabled Shaun Lunt to find the stand-off who touched down to put the visitors in front. Josh Mantellato added the extras and Rovers led 6-0.
Hull KR’s defence has been much improved in recent weeks and the hosts were finding it hard to put their opponents under any real pressure, despite enjoying the majority of their possession in Rovers’ territory.
Soon they found themselves 12-0 behind. The impressive Dixon showed his pace and strength as he darted through a gap on Hull FC’s left edge before out-muscling Jamie Shaul to score his third try of the season. Mantellato was again successful with the conversion from wide out.
However, a Dixon blunder soon after allowed The Black and Whites back into the game, albeit controversially. The former London Bronco pouched a high bomb just outside his own in goal area but found himself being trapped behind the line by his opposite number Shaul. In his desperation to avoid conceding a drop-out, he attempted to ground the ball in the field of play as Shaul wrestled him to the ground. The ball came free and Leon Pryce touched down, but Shaul appeared to have already completed the tackle on Dixon. The try was awarded by the video referees and Jordan Rankin converted to reduce the arrears further.
Just three minutes before half-time Fetuli Talanoa gifted Shaun Lunt a try that reestablished The Robins’ 12-point advantage. The Tongan international spilled Albert Kelly’s towering kick and the loose ball was greatfully collected by Lunt for the easiest of tries. It was the hooker’s third try in five games for his new club and it ensured Hull KR led at the interval.
Joe Westerman went close for Lee Radford’s side early in the second-half before Rovers applied pressure to Hull’s defence with repeat sets. The Black and White’s repelled their opponents stoically, but were struggling to create any try-scoring chances at the other end of the field.
After a combination of Pryce and Mark Minichello stripped the ball from Ben Cockayne with 25 minutes remaining, Campese urged his side to the two points on offer and Mantellato again duly converted, giving Chris Chester’s side a 14-point advantage.
Campese controlled the game for Rovers, his kicking game was sensational as was his partner in the halves’, Albert Kelly.
FC’s bluntness in attack was summed up, when, on the last, Jordan Thompson ran from 10 metres away from Rovers’ line straight into three waiting tacklers. The league’s lowest point-scorers never looked like scoring a try in the final quarter of the game as their cross-city rivals eased towards the final hooter.
KR might have added more gloss to the scoreline four minutes from the end after the irrepressible Campese put Welham through a gap and he found Lunt in support. The recent recruit from Huddersfield was unable to return the ball to the winger, who knocked on before Mantellato could touch down.
Hull FC will have to improve vastly on this performance if they are to get anything from their trip to St Helens in four days time; while Rovers entertain Huddersfield on Easter Monday.
Man of the Match: Terry Campese