Hull FC provided a convincing and dominant display to take the league points as they kicked off final day of Super League’s second round, at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium against Salford.
The sides traded set for set in a tentative first 10 minutes before Reds half Kevin Brown tried to open it up with a chip over the Hull defence, who nevertheless had the resulting charge covered.
And itt was the Airlie Birds who had a period of sustained pressure on the Salford line for the next 10 minutes, without converting it into points until the Reds were penalised for a mistimed ball steal with more than one in the tackle.
Hull then marched up field and a well-worked move saw Andre Savelio cross on the right, Mark Sneyd’s inevitable conversion saw tthem lead 0-6.
Five minutes later Ryan Lannan took a 10-minute break in the sin-bin for a late hit on Sneyd, who recovered enough to kick the penalty and move the scoreboard to 0-8.
Salford belied their numerical disadvantage and pressed the Hull tryline in their most impressive period of the match, but without crossing it. But they also kept their own line unbreached for the 10 minutes they were down to 12 men.
There was an inevitably, though, about the fact that that once they were back to a full complement of 13, a dummy from full-back Jake Connor as Hull moved the ball left-to-right allowed him to run through the Salford defence and pass the ball back inside for Josh Reynolds to run the ball in and dot it down. Sneyd converted to put the Black and Whites 0-14 ahead just before the half-time hooter.
And it was the same again after the break. Hull took their lead to 0-20 when Salford gave possession away inside their own 20 and Reynolds ran onto a delicate Sneyd chip to score under the posts, leaving the simplest of conversions for the ever-dependable goal kicker.
Minutes later, bad news as Reynolds limped off with a hamstring injury, was followed by good as Adam Swift kicked inside from the Black and Whites’ left wing and Josh Griffin raced onto the ball to score. Sneyd converted.
Swift turned defender as he halted a promising break from Salford’s Ken Sio, but fullback Connor had to knock the ball dead on the next play and the Red Devils got a repeat set. A third set on the trot, after Hull were penalised for accidental off-side, saw Sio cross in the corner for Salford to register their first points with the 60-minute mark approached. Tuimoala Lolohea couln’t kick the conversion from the touchline.
Sneyd was added to the Hull injuries shortly after, leaving neither of their starting half-backs on the field. Salford also saw Dan Sarginson and Elijah Taylor leave the game with injuries.
Meanwhile, man-of-the-match Jake Connor took over the kicking duties and added two more points when they won a penalty in the middle of the field on Salford’s 20m line, duly added another two points.
He was next to get the scoreboard ticking over, as well, when a short Salford drop-out gifted Hull possession and six tackled later Connor found himself in front of the posts and in a perfect position to drop a goal.
Hull hit 33 points less than five minutes from the hooter when 21-year-old Cameron Scott charged onto a short pass and crashed over. Connor converted for a 4-35 scoreline.
Salford Red Devils: Sarginson, Sio, Watkins, Kear, Williams, Lolohea, Brown, Mossop, Ackers, Ikahihifo, Livett, Lannon (Yellow Card), Taylor. Subs: Johnson, Wells, Ormanroyd, Patton.
Hull FC: Connor (P, DG, G), Swift, Griffin (T), Tuimavave, Reynolds (2T), Sneyd (4G, P), Sao, Houghton, Satae, Savelio (T), Ma’u, Lane. Subs: Cator, Fash, Scott (T), Taylor.
Referee: Chris Kendall.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 0-8, 0-12, 0-14 : HT : 0-18, 0-20, 0-24, 026, 4-26, 4-28, 4-29, 4-33, 4-35 : FT.