Hull FC 48 Toulouse Olympique 12: Routine win takes Black and Whites fourth

For all the recent talk of a crisis brewing at the MKM Stadium, Hull FC are up to fourth in Super League heading into the latest Challenge Cup break.

The Black and Whites were forced to do some soul-searching after suffering a third straight defeat in the Hull derby on Good Friday and they have delivered an emphatic response.

After claiming hard-fought wins over Warrington Wolves and Catalans Dragons, Brett Hodgson's side earned the right to have fun in the sun on Saturday afternoon.

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Five tries in a 20-minute purple patch in the first half saw off the challenge of the competition's basement team.

Hull FC celebrate one of Darnell McIntosh's tries (Picture: SWPix.com)

Darnell McIntosh celebrated his 100th Super League appearance with a hat-trick after seeing Connor Wynne complete his treble, while teenage hooker Denive Balmforth scored two minutes into his debut.

The Airlie Birds ran in nine tries in all to win the first-ever meeting between the clubs at a canter.

A fifth straight home victory sends Hull into the two-week break in good heart but they will know tougher challenges are ahead in 2022, starting with a trip to defending champions St Helens on May 13.

Club legends Dane O'Hara, Gary Kemble and Fred Ah Kuoi delivered the match ball to rapturous applause but there was little for the home fans to shout about in the early stages.

Darnell McIntosh's acrobatic finish got Hull FC on the board. (Picture: SWPix.com)

Toulouse hit the front on 12 minutes when former Hull KR man Junior Vaivai touched down Anthony Marion's neat kick in behind.

Rocked by the concession, Hull upped the intensity and hit back thanks to McIntosh's flying finish in the corner.

Jake Connor missed his conversion attempt from the sideline but the Black and Whites were playing at a tempo that Toulouse were never likely to keep up with.

The French side did not help themselves, Marion committing a cardinal sin by failing to find touch from a penalty in the build-up to Wynne's first try.

Joe Lovodua coasts over for the Black and Whites. (Picture: SWPix.com)

Toulouse never got set in defence and could only watch as Wynne skipped down the touchline to put Hull in front for the first time.

Connor knocked over the conversion from out wide and was on target again after Joe Lovodua coasted in under the posts.

The full-back laid on McIntosh's second try with a dab into the corner and it was a case of how many for the hosts with barely 30 minutes on the clock.

Wynne helped himself to a double with Toulouse stretched on their right edge and even the sight of Connor's conversion attempt hitting the post could not dampen the home fans' spirits.

Hull FC were far too strong for their French visitors. (Picture: SWPix.com)

With the competition points already in the bag, Hull dropped off at the start of the second half and were punished by Marion, the Frenchman taking advantage of soft goal-line defence to crash over.

But in a repeat of the first half, Toulouse could not live with the Black and Whites when they increased the tempo.

Balmforth entered the fray on 55 minutes and enjoyed a dream introduction to Super League.

Manu Ma'u punched a hole in the Toulouse defence before McIntosh showed good awareness to give Balmforth a moment he will never forget.

The scoring was not done there, Wynne completing his hat-trick after galloping into wide-open field on the left edge.

McIntosh followed suit on the opposite flank thanks to a classy offload from Carlos Tuimavave and Kane Evans got in on the act thanks to a gift from Lovodua.

After Toulouse failed to deal with a kick, Scott Taylor picked up the pieces and appeared to have put Lovodua over only for the half-back to unselfishly hand Evans his first Super League try.

Connor added his sixth goal to complete the 48-12 rout, a routine victory for a side on the up in 2022.

Hull FC: Connor, Shaul, Wynne, Tuimavave, McIntosh, Johnstone, Lovodua, Sao, Houghton, Evans, Ma'u, Lane, Fash.

Substitutes: Satae, Brown, Taylor, Balmforth.

Toulouse Olympique: Ashall-Bott, Marcon, Jussaume, Vaivai, Russell, Cunningham, Marion, Navarette, White, Puech, Stefani, Dixon, Bretherton.

Substitutes: Hansen, Pelissier, Springer, Sangare.

Referee: Marcus Griffiths.