Super League: Hull FC 23-22 Hull Kingston Rovers – Airlie Birds win Clive Sullivan Trophy

Bureta Faraimo
Bureta Faraimo celebrates scoring one of his two match-winning tries for Hull FC
Hull FC (16) 23
Tries: Swift, Faraimo 2, Tuimavave Goals: Sneyd 3 Drop-goal: Sneyd
Hull KR (10) 22
Tries: Keinhorst, Milnes, Crooks, Vete Goals: Crooks 3

Hull FC edged a pulsating, relentless derby with cross-city rivals Hull KR thanks to Marc Sneyd’s crucial drop-goal late on at the MKM Stadium.

Sneyd popped over the one-pointer to put the Black and Whites seven points up and it proved key after Albert Vete’s score with five minutes to go.

The home side led 16-10 at the break thanks to Carlos Tuimavave’s effort just before the hooter.

Rovers fought back as the game ebbed and flowed but it was Hull’s day.

In what Super League had dubbed ‘Rivals Round’, these two old foes served up a genuine classic that, while not the highest quality in terms of execution and skill, had drama, excitement and incident in huge quantities.

While St Helens had enjoyed an emphatic 26-2 win at Wigan in Friday’s Super League derby, this was a truly intense spectacle.

It will be little consolation for Rovers boss Tony Smith, but his side showed mettle and morale; as did Hull under Brett Hodgson, who has instilled a defensive solidity to the side since his arrival.

Adam Swift finished off in the corner to open the scoring and give Hull the lead but Jimmy Keinhorst matched that with a similar effort to square it up.

Both sides coughed up cheap ball as the ferocity of the hits cranked up, roared on by a near-packed lower bowl, while Tuimavave had his score ruled out for an obstruction.

Rowan Milnes chipped ahead and chased to touch down for the Rovers lead, which proved short-lived as Bureta Faraimo got the first of his two tries with a well-worked walk-in before Tuimavave’s effort.

Ben Crooks had kicked out on the full to lead up to that score for Hull, and atoned for that error when he raced in to lift the away side’s spirits again.

Faraimo swung the pendulum again with his second, and the needle increased with it as Airlie Birds playmaker Jake Connor – often a protagonist in such affairs – found himself in a spat with Rovers’ Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

Sneyd ticked the scoreboard over with the boot and despite Vete’s thunderous finish to give Rovers hope, the Clive Sullivan Trophy stayed in West Hull after this triumph.

Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson told BBC Radio Humberside:

“Jake Connor was brilliant, he had been missed, and his composure in certain parts of the game was outstanding.

“What he does is offload pressure from other players and I thought Marc Sneyd and Josh Reynolds played exceptionally well because they could feed the ball and create opportunities for others.

“It was a very good performance from Jake, we’re very pleased he’s extended his time here.”

Hull KR boss Tony Smith:

“I still think we’re heading in the right direction as a club and a team. Certainly in the time I have been at the club in the past up until this team, we wouldn’t have gone anywhere near Hull FC in this game.

“It’s back to how we want rugby league to be played and portrayed. I thought the atmosphere was brilliant.

“I know there is a lot of talk about restructure and all those things in the games but if that is not part of the programme, that real genuine derby is a highlight of a Super League season.

“They are good hard games to learn from and we will learn some lessons from it. We look forward to the next time we play.”

Hull FC: Connor; Swift, Scott, Tuimavave, Faraimo; Reynolds, Sneyd; Sao, Houghton, Fash, Manu, Savelio, Lane.

Interchanges: Brown, Cator, Shaul, Taylor.

Hull KR: Crooks; Keinhorst, Minikin, Kenny-Dowall, Hall; Takairangi, Milnes; Vete, Parcell, King, Linnett, Johnson, Lawler.

Interchanges: Sims, Litten, Storton, Maher.

Referee: Liam Moore.

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