Leigh Centurions 22 Hull FC 64: Andre Savelio hat-trick leads way for rampant Hull

RUTHLESS Hull FC ran amok against desperate Leigh Centurions today to deliver a sixth Super League win of the season.

Hull FC's Andre Savelio stretches over (BRUCE ROLLINSON)
Hull FC's Andre Savelio stretches over (BRUCE ROLLINSON)

Given the number of injuries in their ranks, Airlie Birds boss Brett Hodgson had been down to his last 18 players for the trip to Leigh Sports Village but, as the old saying goes, you only need 13 to play.

Clearly, FC still had ample firepower in their ranks as they brutally inflicted more misery on Super League’s bottom club, consigning woeful Leigh to an 11th straight loss.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Second-row Andre Savelio scored a hat-trick of tries while there was further efforts for winger Adam Swift (2), Mahe Fonua, Jake Connor, Manu Ma’u, Bureta Faraimo, Connor Wynne, Jack Brown and the brilliant Chris Satae.

Hull FC's Mahe Fonua blasts over (BRUCE ROLLINSON)

Majestic full-back Connor ran the show, toying with hapless Leigh constantly until they finally lost patience and he had to depart for an HIA in the 49th minute.

By that point, his side were already 42-10 ahead and Leigh were already long gone.

Nevertheless, typically, Connor passed his HIA and returned to toy with them a little more.

Full-back Wynne, 20, made the most of his rare chance, playing in the unfamiliar position of centre but showing plenty of confidence from the start with some excellent carries.

Hull FC's Manu Ma'u on his way to scoring (BRUCE ROLLINSON)

Likewise, fellow Academy product prop Jack Brown did well off the bench and there was also a debut for Fijian winger Mitieli Vulikijapani.

Things started brightly for the visitors. After Ben Reynolds spilled Hull’s kick-off, the Leigh stand-off them compounded his error by failing to deal with Connor as the England international too easily slipped past him for the opening try in the next set.

Leigh did respond quickly when Jordan Lane was marginally late on Joe Mellor and Liam Hood went close before getting a late offload for James Bell to dive over, Ryan Brierley converting.

However, it was only a brief respite as Hodgson’s side quickly found their groove and simply proved too powerful for the hosts.

Satae, the prop fresh from signing a new two-year deal this week, continued his immense form with some thunderous carries, often finished with offloads that only added to Leigh’s pain.

As ever, Ligi Sao was not far behind with his brute force punching holes through the middle and the likes of Connor, Josh Reynolds and Marc Sneyd had a field day playing off the back of it all.

Swift scored the first of his brace by brilliantly dabbing down the touchline in narrowest of spaces after Fonua had squeezed out a pass on the last tackle.

Satae’s latest barrelling surge helped set them in motion for a wonderful fourth try, Ma’u finishing off but Wynne, Danny Houghton, Josh Reynolds and Fonua all playing their part.

Brierely missed touch with a penalty and then kicked out on the full, Leigh players appealing that he had been hit late by Josh Reynolds.

There was nothing in it. Although Ben Reynolds did appear to aim a headbutt at his namesake in the melee that ensued.

In the resulting set, it was Josh Reynolds’ flat pass that saw Wynne do brilliantly to slip in Faraimo.

Leigh were unfortunate in some cases; referee James Child missed a blatant forward pass from Sneyd in the build up to their next try from Fonua and the scrum-half got away with another one prior to Savelio’s first score just before the break.

However, the home defence was abysmal when allowing Swift to race 60m untouched and they were fortunate to only be 36-6 down at the break given Sneyd, unusually, missed all of his opening four conversion attempts.

Connor broke clear yet again straight after half-time to give Wynne a deserved try and Reynolds soon got in on the act before Swift pierced them again to help set Savelio up for his second.

Leigh responded with a good solo effort from Brierley who later added a second and 150th for the club.

But with Savelio completing his hat-trick and Satae barging over, too, it meant little. This was Hull’s afternoon.

Leigh Centurions: Brierley; Mullen, Hellewell, Thornley, Sa’u; Reynolds, Mellor; Mason, Hood, Ioane, McCarthy, Gee, Bell. Substitutes: Peats, Peteru, Wildie, Russell.

Hull FC: Connor; Faraimo, Wynne, Fonua, Swift; Reynolds, Swift; Sao, Houghton, Satae, Savelio, Ma’u, Lane. Substitutions: Johnstone, Fash, Brown, Vulikijapani.

Referee: James Child (Dewsbury)