Hull FC 16-62 Leeds Rhinos: Highlights and match report

Today Leeds again showed the steps forward being taken under Rohan Smith.

Two consecutive defeats to two of the league’s top teams in Huddersfield and St Helens have disguised the optimism growing at Headingley after Leeds’ 40-point win at Warrington but they got back on track today with a 62-16 thumping off an injury hit Hull showing the development of the Leeds’ attack under Smith and perhaps the lucky charm that is their pink kit – three games, three wins and 46 points per game.

Highlights:

The McIntosh dash
Darnell McIntosh gave Hull hope after Leeds’ fast start put them in the driving seat. He raced 95 metres to score after intercepting Aidan Sezer’s pass.

Inside ball magic
Leeds’ best try of the season came at Warrington from an inside ball and the Rhinos repeated it again today with an inside ball from Cameron Smith sending Richie Myler away before he found Leeming in support to finish off. As both this try and that one against Warrington came in the pink kit, perhaps the Rhinos should be wearing it every week.

Five tries for Handley
Ash Handley crossed for three tries today as the Rhinos ran riot in Hull. He scored twice in the first half either side of Hull’s mini fight back to give Leeds control of the game and completed his hat-trick on the back of a blindside move in the second half. But three wasn’t enough for the Leeds winger who soon powered over for try number four from a scrum. Remarkably, he made it three tries in a row for himself as he got over his fifth try with three minutes left. In doing so, he became only the fourth Leeds player to score five tries in a Super League game for Leeds after Danny McGuire (who did it twice), Ali Lauitiiti and Ryan Hall.

Match Report:

Just minutes into his 100th appearance for Leeds, Mikolaj Oledzki was crowning the day with a try immediately setting the tone for a high scoring afternoon as he powered over from close range with Rhyse Martin adding the extras.

Much emphasis will of course be on Leeds’ attack today, but credit their defence too as they stood up to the immediate Hull FC pressure which followed that try before doubling their money with a left side raid.

The always clinical Ash Handley finishing off a flowing move down his side to propel Leeds 12-0 up. So, except for a brief spell of pressure from Hull, one way traffic and it looked set to remain that way as a Hull FC error invited more Leeds offence however a stray pass from the Rhinos saw Darnell McIntosh intercept the ball and race 95 metres to score. He couldn’t convert his own try but Hull now had a route back into the contest.

A minute later they were further down the road of making a game of it when Danny Houghton scored. He collected Connor Wynne’s kick to make it two tries in quick succession with McIntosh’s goal making it 12-10.

Virtually back to square one for Leeds but 11 minutes before the break they regain the ascendency with a second try for Handley. Again the opportunity came off the back of a Hull FC error.

Then the try of the game. Leeds caught the eye a few weeks ago against Warrington with Kruise Leeming finishing off a move started by a superb inside ball and that was again the case today. This time Richie Myler went through the gap and Leeming was in support to score.

Martin converted that try making it 22-10 at the break.

Hull FC needed a fast start in the second half if they were going to battle back and it certainly came as the amassed major pressure on the Leeds line who eventually succumbed to a try from Chris Satae after a number of offloads. Game back on at 22-16.

However, a three try flurry from the Rhinos in a 10 minute period made it well and truly game over. Again, Hull were left ruing a mistake this one from Danny Houghton with Zak Hardaker going close shortly after. Then, on the back of a great run from Matt Prior, Kruise Leeming was on hand to claim a second. Martin’s conversion re-establishing the 12-point cushion.

Three minutes later Richie Myler was getting in on the act. He spotted a gap after Cameron Smith and Hardaker had worked hard to keep the ball alive. Martin’s conversion made it 34-16.

Try number three quickly followed this time going to Liam Sutcliffe as Leeds again enjoyed success pillaging Hull FC’s right edge. A solo effort this one with Sutcliffe spotting space down the short side on his return to the side.

Leeds’ attack was on point as was Martin’s kicking radar curling in the touchline conversion for his sixth of the game and he had a chance for a seventh shortly after as Leeds continued to heap misery on an injury hit Hull side.

David Fusitu’a would become Leeds’ sixth try scorer of the game as they ran in try number eight. He leaped highest to claim the ball and score.

Fusitu’a may have gotten over for the try but the game was all about his fellow winger Ash Handley who got his hat-trick with 10 minutes to go off a neat short side play as Leeds brought up the half century for the first time this season.

He wasn’t done either. He would soon power over from a scrum move to make it four tries for him and 10 on the afternoon for the Rhinos.

Surely four tries is enough for a winger to be pleased but not Handley as he made it three tries on the spin for himself and five for the afternoon with three minutes remaining to take Leeds to 60. Martin converted to round off the scoring at 62-16.

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