Hull FC’s revival continued as they put beleaguered Leeds Rhinos to the sword to earn their first victory at the KCOM Stadium since last June.
The Black and Whites have seen their form make a U-turn in recent weeks, picking up away wins against Wigan and Huddersfield to bring an end to their 13-game losing run in Super League.
Hull had another monkey to get off their back and they did it in style with this home triumph, although such a comprehensive victory did not look on the cards early on.
Young centre Harry Newman opened the scoring with his first try for Leeds and Hull old boy Tom Briscoe made it a dream start for the Rhinos when he went over in the corner.
But Hull ruthlessly exposed the visitors’ insecurities in defence as they ran in five tries in little over 15 minutes through Ratu Naulago, Masi Matongo, Marc Sneyd, Jamie Shaul and Albert Kelly.
Dean Hadley scored the only try of an uneventful second half with the points already in the bag for Hull.
Leeds had made positive progress in outings against Salford and St Helens, but went into yesterday’s clash on the back of a humbling defeat by Wakefield on their return to Headingley.
Head coach David Furner was forced into a late change when Carl Ablett got injured in the warm-up yet watched his replacement Newman go over from dummy half to give the Rhinos an early lead.
Newman then turned provider to put Briscoe over and at 10-0 after 10 minutes it appeared Leeds had quickly put last week’s disappointment behind them.
Newman and Briscoe somehow held Josh Griffin up over the line, but the Rhinos’ defence soon buckled as the rampant Black and Whites got their tails up.
Kelly got Hull going with a brilliant last-tackle pass that took Ash Handley out of the game and put Naulago over in the corner for his fourth try in three appearances.
Sneyd converted from the touchline and then sent Matongo through a huge hole close to the line to wipe out Leeds’s advantage.
All of a sudden Hull were full of confidence and Sneyd got in on the act after backing up the rampaging Mark Minichiello to score between the posts with Leeds’s edge defence in disarray.
Indiscipline was a problem for the Rhinos throughout Hull’s purple patch and the hosts punished them each time they were gifted field position.
Shaul evaded Jack Walker’s tackle to extend the Airlie Birds’ lead and the game was as good as over when Kelly stepped back inside to touch down, with Sneyd’s fifth goal making it 30-10.
Brad Singleton went close just before half-time as the Rhinos finally got their hands on the ball and they made a strong start to the second period with Furner’s team-talk no doubt still ringing in their ears.
But there was to be no comeback for Leeds as Hadley scored a scrappy try to end the match as a contest.
Furner described Leeds’s first half collapse in last night’s defeat at Hull as a “car crash”.
Furner said: “I thought the period in the first half from 18 minutes to half-time was probably what I’d describe as a car crash.
“Defensively we were not to the standards we need to be.
“There were some missed tackles that weren’t good enough and our discipline in that time wasn’t good enough.
“I am disappointed because the squad can be better than that.”
Furner added: “Put your shoulders in, make your tackles – that’s all you’ve got to do.
“We started well, then when things weren’t going our way we tried to solve it on our own instead of making our tackles and working together,” added Furner.
Hull FC: Shaul, Naulago, Tuimavave, Griffin, Faraimo, Kelly, Sneyd, Paea, Houghton, Matongo, S. Manu, Minichiello, Westerman. Substitutes: Thompson, Ellis, Hadley, Taylor.
Leeds Rhinos: Walker, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Hurrell, Handley, Lolohea, Myler, Peteru, Parcell, Oledzki, Ferres, Ablett, Merrin. Substitutes: Cuthbertson, Singleton, Newman, Donaldson.
Referee: Ben Thaler (RFL).
St Helens maintained their unbeaten start to the season as they eased to a comfortable 26-0 victory over London Broncos to return to the top of the Super League table.
Saints are now the only club left with a 100 per cent start to the 2019 campaign following Castleford’s defeat by Warrington on Thursday night.
Saints claimed five tries through Dom Peyroux, Theo Fages, Regan Grace, Kevin Naiqama and Lachlan Coote, who also kicked three goals.