WITH Joe Westerman scoring tries for fun, Albert Kelly playing Super League for the first time in eight months and Gareth Ellis continuing his second coming out of retirement, all is well in the world for Hull FC once more.
The same cannot be said for Huddersfield Giants who, after another tepid defeat yesterday, remain without a win since last August and are bottom of an admittedly embryonic table.
Hull, of course, have been in a similar position themselves, but after finally ending their 13-game losing run at champions Wigan Warriors the previous week quickly added a second here.
Former England loose forward Westerman marked his 300th career appearance in style with two tries, scoring for a third successive game and taking his tally to the season to four.
He grabbed a scrappy opener in the 15th minute, fumbling a pass in the constant rain, but kicking on before the ball hit the ground and winning the 25m race to the loose ball.
Hull trailed 8-6 at the break, but the 29-year-old barged over from close range early in the second period as his side reclaimed the lead and they never looked back.
Depleted Huddersfield, whose sole try came via Darnell McIntosh’s 28th-minute effort, remain bottom of Super League having lost all four games so far and they again made far too many errors in the poor conditions here.
This said, they were hit by further injuries both before and during yesterday’s game.
Stand-off Lee Gaskell – due to start at centre with Joe Wardle missing – did not make it through the warm-up so 18th man Jake Wardle was drafted in. However, they also lost forward Adam Walne towards the end of the first half with a shoulder injury, Hull seeing Jake Connor limp out of action as well.
England star Connor, who faced his former club at full-back with Jamie Shaul injured, suffered a knee problem when dealing with a kick in the final play of the first period.
He had to be helped off the field but, amazingly, returned for the start of the second half a little later than everyone else with his knee heavily bandaged.
However, within seconds Connor had signalled to the bench he could not carry on and centre Josh Griffin was switched to the No 1 role.
Coach Lee Radford said his player will have a scan today, but, bizarrely, the positional switch actually worked in their favour.
“We trained all week to play to an edge, but didn’t see the rain coming,” he explained.
“I’m really pleased with how we adjusted after half-time.
“We had to make a couple of adaptations; we came out in a different gear and had to change our mindset.
“This is no disrespect to Griffin, but he’s not a ball-playing full-back. We wanted to play a little bit more direct and straighten up and he definitely did that.
“He’s not going to find a pass. He’s going to go through you and we needed to be more direct.
“That’s two from two now and we need to carry on playing with that energy and attitude.
“We’ve had four games so far and not had easy fixture, which is a good advert for Super League.
“We’ve Leeds next on Friday and we’re back at home. We’ll look forward to that.”
The damage was done early in that second period. Westerman got them moving and they scored again almost immediately.
Veteran full-back Scott Grix, recalled for Giants with Akuila Uate one of their seven injured players, made a mess of Marc Sneyd’s high kick to concede a drop-out and, from there, Sneyd sent Fijian winger Ratu Naulago in for his third try in two games.
Grix then failed to deal with another Sneyd kick and this time Griffin profited, the former Huddersfield centre adding his second try at the finish, Sneyd adding a penalty in between.
Young half-back Oliver Russell kept trying for Huddersfield in his first game this season, converting McIntosh’s try and adding a penalty, but Simon Woolford’s side fell away badly in that second period.
Huddersfield Giants: Grix; McGilvary, Turner, Jake Wardle, McIntosh; Russell, Frawley; Ta’ai, Leeming, Matagi, Murphy, Mellor, Lawrence. Substitutes: O’Brien, Roche, English, Walne.
Hull FC: Connor; Naulago, Tuimavave, Griffin, Faraimo; Kelly, Sneyd; Paea, Houghton, Matongo, Minichiello, Manu, Westerman. Substitutes: Thompson, Lane, Ellis, Hadley.
Referee: S Mikalauskas (Leigh).