Hull FC 22
Tries: Lineham (3), Shaul
Goals: Rankin 3/5
Tries: Brown, Ah Van
Goals: Owens 0/2
A Tom Lineham hat-trick inspired Hull FC to a 22-8 victory over Widnes Vikings at The KC Stadium, their second win in five days.
The victory means Lee Radford’s men are now 9th in the Super League table, moving above The Vikings in the process.
The home side took the lead after neat footwork from full-back Jamie Shaul took him away from the attempted tackle of Cameron Phelps before firing a pass out wide for Lineham who scored.
A nasty clash of heads between Chris Dean and Stefan Marsh led to both Vikings’ players leaving the field. Dean did retake the field later, but Marsh was left with a nasty looking gash on his head and he took no further part in the action..
Widnes levelled the game up at 4-apiece on 20 minutes through Kevin Brown’s try. The stand-off through a dummy and went for the line himself from dummy-half a few metres out. The try came after referee Richard Silverwood adjudged Lineham had knocked a high bomb backwards, although it had actually been knocked on by Patrick Ah Van.
There was more injury woe for Widnes when Lloyd White tried to tackle the returning Setaimata Sa, the Welsh international came off worse and left the field to be checked over by the medical team.
Despite losing three of their starting XIII, Widnes were pushing for the lead just before the half-hour mark. However, Brown’s long pass out to the wing was well intercepted by Lineham, who raced 90 metres down field to score his second try of the game. Jordan Rankin goaled and The Black and Whites led 10-4.
White and Dean returned to the field for the visitors before half-time but it was Hull FC who led at the break.
Just seven minutes into the second half Lineham completed his hat-trick – with an almost identical try to his second. This time he picked off Rhys Hanbury’s pass near his own line and went the length of the field to score, despite Joe Mellor’s valiant chase back. That try was the winger’s 10th of the season and took him to the top of the Super League try scoring charts. Rankin again converted and the hosts led by 12.
With both sides tiring, Rankin had the chance to put three scores between them on the hour mark when Eamon O’Carroll was penalised for a shoulder charge 40 metres from the sticks. The goal kick was unsuccessful and Widnes were still in the game.
Their resistance was finally broken thanks to Shaul’s try on 67 minutes. Rankin’s low kick towards the in goal area hit the upright and the full-back was able to capitalise and score his third try in two games. The 22 year-old was superb in both attack and defence and would have had strong claims for man of the match had his team mate not bagged a hat-trick.
Widnes never gave in and Hanbury got the ball into touch from the kick-off to earn his side a scrum in Hull territory. The resulting set saw Ah Van score a sensational acrobatic touch down in the corner, the big winger raising his feet in the air before diving forward to ground the ball right in the corner. Jack Owens couldn’t convert from the touchline and the deficit was 14 points with just 10 minutes left to play.
The Vikings kept trying right up until the final hooter, Kevin Brown’s kicking game was way below his usual high standard. This was summed up three minutes from the end when he tried a kick straight from a scrum to try and give Ah Van something to chase down. However, the kick was far too strong and bounced down just in the field of play before crossing over the whitewash.
The victory was only Hull FC’s second win at The KC Stadium so far this season and Widnes’ fifth defeat on the road in Super League XX.
Man of the match: Tom Lineham