Hull FC 33 Catalans 22: Sneyd opens Hull account to compound Dragons’ woes

Marc Sneyd.
Marc Sneyd.
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Hull FC rounded off a week to forget for Catalans in East Yorkshire with a 33-22 victory which inflicted an eighth successive loss on the Dragons at the KC Stadium.

The French outfit were tipped by many as outsiders for the First Utility Super League crown in 2015 but they are showing few signs of shaking off the travel sickness which has held them back in previous years.

Catalans, who were thumped 50-20 at Hull KR last time out, drew first blood through Vincent Duport but a sloppy error allowed Marc Sneyd to score his first Hull try and the hosts kicked on with further scores from Jordan Rankin, Steve Michaels and Fetuli Talanoa.

Thomas Bosc pounced on a mistake on the stroke of half-time but Tom Lineham’s double put the game out of the Dragons’ reach, with tries from Morgan Escare and Zeb Taia mere consolation for a Catalans outfit left to reflect on a third defeat in as many matches on the road.

Scoring points had not been a problem for Catalans and they were celebrating the first try of the night in the 14th minute after Duport touched down in the corner following Willie Tonga’s brilliant offload. The Dragons had weathered the early storm and were in control when a fumbled pass allowed Sneyd to race 40 metres out to touch down.

Catalans were behind after Rankin took Leon Pryce’s neat offload before showing a good turn of pace and then strength to get the ball down.

Catalans were dropping off tackles and Michaels was next to benefit as he broke through some flimsy attempts to score his first try for the Black and Whites.

Todd Carney, who was risked just two weeks after breaking a rib, left the field five minutes before the break and he was soon joined on the sidelines by Escare.

It got even worse for Catalans as Talanoa went over for Hull’s fourth try after the ball was shifted from right to left through the hands of Sneyd and Rankin.

The Dragons looked down and out at 22-6, but were gifted a route back into the match when Hull forced a pass on halfway after the hooter and Bosc kicked ahead before racing clear to score.

Any hopes of a comeback similar to the one Catalans were on the receiving end of just across the city at Craven Park were all but extinguished when Lineham’s blistering pace earned him the first points of the second half.

Escare returned to the field to replace the injured Michael Oldfield but there was little he could do about Lineham’s second try, a flying finish in the corner. The Catalans full-back showed there was no lasting damage when he raced home from his own half after pouncing on a loose Hull pass.

Sneyd slotted over a drop-goal and the Airlie Birds were celebrating their first win since the opening weekend of the season despite Taia’s powerful last-gasp effort.

Hull: Rankin, Lineham, Michaels, Yeaman, Talanoa, Pryce, Sneyd, Paea, Houghton, Bowden, Ellis, Minichiello, Westerman. Substitutes: Watts, Paleaaesina, Green, Thompson.

Catalans Dragons: Escare, Oldfield, Cardace, Tonga, Duport, Carney, Bosc, Elima, Henderson, Casty, Taia, Whitehead, Baitieri. Substitutes: Anderson, Lima, Pelissier, Bousquet.

Referee: P Bentham (RFL).