Hull respond in style to Radford’s challenge

Hull FC delivered a determined performance to get their First Utility Super League season back on track with a 30-8 victory over Salford Red Devils at the KC Stadium.

A “crisis” meeting was called by Black and Whites coach Lee Radford following last weekend’s 7-0 home loss to Widnes Vikings and his players responded with a showing full of desire and bravery.

Young half-back Jacob Miller marked his first appearance of the season with the first try of the night before Greg Johnson showed good determination to level for Salford.

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Jamie Shaul, returning at full-back, put Hull back in front on the half-hour mark and brilliantly laid the platform for Ben Crooks to give the hosts some breathing space just after the break.

Richard Horne and Junior Sa’u exchanged tries before Liam Watts rounded off the scoring two minutes from time.

The Red Devils received the ball from the kick-off and forced three successive drop outs without Hull getting their hands on the ball, only for the hosts to hold out through a mixture of strong defence and disjointed attack.

Hull soon settled into the contest and, after a couple of opportunities had gone begging, opened the scoring on 14 minutes when Miller jinked his way to the line.

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Good hands by Jake Mullaney gave Johnson some space on the right and the speedster touched down in the corner to register Salford’s first points despite a desperate tackle by Miller.

The Black and Whites came roaring back and were back in front as Shaul gathered Horne’s well-weighted kick to put the ball down next to the posts.

The crowd at the KC were treated to a moment of magic by Shaul as he collected a kick on his own line before racing 80 metres downfield, before sending in Crooks. And it got better for the home side when Salford failed to deal with a high kick and Horne went under the sticks after receiving a flick pass from Jay Pitts.

Salford gave themselves hope as Sa’u finished after good work by Theo Fages, but outstanding goal-line defence by the Black and Whites resticted further chances.

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Watts rounded off a good evening for Hull as they drew first blood ahead of next week’s Challenge Cup tie.

Hull: Shaul, Colbon, Crooks, Yeaman, Talanoa, Horne, Miller, Watts, Houghton, Thompson, Hadley, Tuson, Westerman. Substitutes: Whiting, Pitts, Paleaaesina, Heremaia.

Salford: Mullaney, Johnson, Gleeson, Sa’u, Meli, Chase, Smith, Morley, Lee, Tasi, Hansen, Dixon, Puletua. Substitutes: Fages, Rapira, J. Walne, McPherson.

Referee: R Hicks (RFL).