Hull KR 28 Hull FC 34: Black and Whites edge breathless derby as loanees shine

In the build-up to the second Hull derby of the Super League season, the heavily depleted rivals would have been happy to rip up the form book.

Hull KR were under an interim head coach in Danny McGuire after Tony Smith paid the price for a run of seven defeats in eight games.

Hull FC, meanwhile, were fresh from a fourth straight defeat, leaving their top-six chances on a knife-edge.

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If form goes out of the window in derbies - as the saying goes - both teams were onto a winner.

But the Black and Whites were the team that grabbed the bragging rights and the initiative in the battle for the play-offs as the sun set on a Magic Weekend to remember.

Hull's decision to bring in three loanees paid immediate dividends with Jack Walker, Josh Simm and Ellis Longstaff all having big says in a breathless contest at St James' Park.

Mikey Lewis enhanced his burgeoning reputation with a hat-trick but the Robins were left to rue four missed goals as well as four disallowed tries.

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Whereas Lachlan Coote kicked only two of his six attempts, Luke Gale was faultless in nailing seven from seven.

Hull FC celebrate Josh Simm's match-winning try. (Picture: FC celebrate Josh Simm's match-winning try. (Picture:
Hull FC celebrate Josh Simm's match-winning try. (Picture:

The thrilling 34-28 victory takes Hull back up to fifth in the table and leaves their great rivals down in 10th.

It always had the makings of a topsy-turvy game between two teams low on numbers and confidence.

Rovers were without eight first-teamers, while Hull FC fielded five debutants in the absence of 12 players. As well as the emergency loanees, Brett Hodgson turned to academy stars Matty Laidlaw and Charlie Severs.

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Hull KR dug deep into their reserves, too, turning to 17-year-old prop Zach Fishwick and winger Will Tate, making his first Super League appearance of the season.

Ellis Longstaff is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring his first try. (Picture: Longstaff is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring his first try. (Picture:
Ellis Longstaff is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring his first try. (Picture:

The Robins suffered a fresh injury blow in the opening five minutes, hardworking forward Frankie Halton forced off with a fractured collarbone.

When the match resumed, Rovers infringed at a scrum and Gale marked his return to the side by knocking over the penalty from in front.

But Hull KR were holding their own in the middle and scored the opening try after good play by Albert Vete, who together with Korbin Sims set the tone for McGuire's men.

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Vete attracted several defenders close to the line and got away an offload to give Matt Parcell the chance to stretch out and touch down despite the attention of Joe Lovodua.

Mikey Lewis celebrates his first try. (Picture: Lewis celebrates his first try. (Picture:
Mikey Lewis celebrates his first try. (Picture:

Rovers threatened to take the game away from the Black and Whites as the half went on but they had three tries ruled out to the frustration of McGuire watching on from the stands.

Lewis and Tate were pulled back for forward passes before an obstruction denied Ben Crooks a derby try against his old club.

Hull survived the assault and were clinical when chances came their way at the other end.

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Connor Wynne swatted aside Rowan Miles to restore FC's advantage before Jordan Lane put Lovodua over after a juggling act.

Gale improved both tries and all of a sudden the Black and Whites had a healthy 14-4 lead.

But that advantage was wiped out in the final few minutes of the half as Rovers hit their rivals with a quick one-two.

Joe Lovodua celebrates his try. (Picture: Lovodua celebrates his try. (Picture:
Joe Lovodua celebrates his try. (Picture:

Sam Wood finished off a simple shift to the right and then with the half-time hooter sounding, Lewis scored a superb solo try after kicking through for himself.

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The teams went in level after Coote missed a second conversion of the evening but it did not stay that way for long as Longstaff took centre stage.

First the Warrington Wolves back-rower took an offload from fellow loanee Simm to touch down before getting on the end of Gale's neat kick in behind.

Gale maintained his perfect record from the tee to give Hull a 26-14 advantage - but back came the Robins.

Jimmy Keinhorst got Rovers back in it when he powered his way over on the last tackle and McGuire's side had a one-man advantage after Brad Fash saw yellow for a crusher tackle on Parcell.

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It was a costly sin-binning with Lewis going over twice to complete his hat-trick.

The young playmaker jinked his way through the Hull defence after taking an offload from Elliot Minchella and then showed good strength to finish in heavy traffic.

Coote could only convert one of the two tries, leaving Rovers with a 28-26 lead heading into the closing stages.

But there was always going to be another twist or two in a spellbinding encounter.

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With Fash back on the field, Hull worked their way towards the Hull KR line and crossed thanks to an inspired piece of play by Darnell McIntosh, the winger crabbing across the field before exchanging passes with Scott Taylor and putting Simm over with a long pass.

The Robins appeared to have won it when Minchella went over under the sticks, only for the video referee to spot a knock-on after a lung-busting effort from Longstaff.

Gale knocked over a penalty after Keinhorst was penalised for a high tackle and Hull dug deep to see out a memorable derby win.

Hull KR: Coote, Crooks, Wood, Kenny-Dowall, Tate, Lewis, Milnes, Vete, Parcell, Sims, Hadley, Halton, Minchella.

Substitutes: Litten, Keinhorst, Maher, Fishwick.

Hull FC: Walker, McIntosh, Wynne, Griffin, Simm, Lovodua, Gale, Fash, Houghton, Satae, Lane, Longstaff, Brown.

Substitutes: Taylor, Laidlaw, Severs, Hookem.

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