WATCH - Leeds Rhinos 4 Hull FC 30: Ratu Naulago and Jake Connor impress as Hull FC thrash Leeds Rhinos

When Mahe Fonua and Adam Swift are waiting in the wings to play, any winger who gets the shirt in this Hull FC team knows he has to perform.

Crucially, Ratu Naulago did just that as the Fijian flier repaid head coach Lee Radford’s faith in him with a stunning opening day performance.

Radford preferred him to his two new recruits and the decision reaped dividends as ruthless Hull made light work of Leeds Rhinos who struggled badly as the rain teamed down at Headingley.

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Having burst onto the scene last term as one of the surprise hits of the year, there could have been fears British army soldier Naulago may suffer second-season syndrome.

Hull FC's Jamie Shaul (TONY JOHNSON)

However, there are no signs of that as the union convert scored two tries and set up another with a stunning run to leave Leeds powerless.

The hosts, who lost star centre Konrad Hurrell to a first half concussion – and were asked by Sky Sports to change their kit at half-time because of a colour clash were 24-0 down before Ash Handley finally got them on the scoresheet in the 62nd minute.

The Great Britain tourist thought he had another soon after only for Naulago to show the other side of his game, getting across just in time to nudge his opponent into touch.

It was the second time he had denied the Leeds winger having also done well to hold him up over the line in the third minute with a fine tackle.

Leeds Rhinos' Brad Dwyer (TONY JOHNSON)

As disappointing as this was for Leeds, there was plenty to like from Hull, especially before the heavens opened and turned the pitch into a mudbath.

As expected, Jake Connor was handed the stand-off role ahead of Albert Kelly who did not even feature in the 17 but - like Naulago - the England player fully justified his inclusion.

Connor marshalled Hull brilliantly and asked all sorts of questions in the first period before adapting to a more pragmatic approach as the miserable conditions took hold.

However, Andre Savelio revelled, too, the big former St Helens forward looking in great nick after some rotten luck with injuries in recent years.

The prop was simply too powerful for Leeds at times and they struggled to contain his physicality, highlighted at the death when he was able to find an offload for Jamie Shaul to score Hull’s fifth try.

Marc Sneyd had opened the scoring with a 15th minute penalty before Naulago took control.

He did superbly to set up Hull’s first try, taking a high Leeds kick in his own 20 before beating Handley with ease and then turning Hurrell inside and out before streaking down the touchline.

He then held his nerve to find Carlos Tuimavave who just managed to get clear of Handley’s desperate late effort.

After Sneyd’s astute kick forced a drop-out, Josh Griffin almost got in at the corner, too, but he fumbled under pressure trying to get the ball down.

Leeds’ chances were limited and the visitors generally stood firm when challenged, bundling Liam Sutcliffe into touch when they did dare to get close.

Hull got their second try on the half-hour when Jamie Shaul made a half-break before finding Connor with a pass off the floor.

Connor weighed up his options before gliding into space and finding Naulago who eased over.

They turned the screw when scoring back-to-back tries, Connor once more to the fore as he found Savelio thundering back on an angle to leave the Leeds defence easily befuddled.

Josh Bowen was the grateful support, Sneyd converting the score having unusually missed and struck an upright with his earlier attempts.

At 16-0, Leeds badly needed a response and Brad Dwyer thought he had it when stretching over out of a tackle but referee Ben Thaler ruled ‘no try’ and the video official concurred.

Luke Gale got close at the start of the second period as the England scrum-half - one of three Rhinos debutants - tried getting Richard Agar’s side back into the contest.

He was inches short, though, and instead the visitors stretched the lead further with Sneyd’s penalty.

Matt Prior hit Chris Satae high, the Leeds player making Sneyd’s shot easier by conceding a further penalty for dissent.

Another penalty came soon after before Shaul produced a quality cut-out pass for Naulago’s second.

The full-back was rightly pleased with himself as it is an area of his game he has been working hard to improve of late.

After Handley got that consolation, Shaul then enjoyed his own deserved try as FC made the perfect preparation for Friday’s derby visit from Hull KR.

Leeds Rhinos: Walker; Neweman, Sutcliffe, Hurrell, Handley; Lui, Gale; Oledzki, Dwyer, Prior, Martin, Ward, Smith. Substitutes: Donaldson, Cuthbertson, Myler, Mellor.

Hull FC: Shaul; Naulago, Tuimavave, Griffin, Naulago; Connor, Sneyd; Taylor, Johnstone, Sao, Jones, Mau, Ellis. Substitutes: Satae, Lane, Bowden, Savelio.

Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield)