Hull FC’s new start in 2023 under Tony Smith got off to a winning start as new signing Jake Clifford and Brad Dwyer proved key.
It was the worst possible start for Hull FC in their return to action, as they went behind within four minutes.
It came from a grubber kick into the in goal where Corey Aston, who was enjoying his return to Sheffield under father and former Lance Todd winner Mark, touched down and converted to make it 6-0.
Two minutes later, Sheffield crossed for a second try breaking down the left before Connor Bower finished off a lovely move. This time Aston couldn’t convert.
In a hectic first 10 minutes, Scott Taylor was denied before crossing eight minutes later. From a Darnell McIntosh grubber, Joe Lovodua tried to touch down but fortunately Taylor was on hand to ground the ball and make it 10-6 after debutant and former NRL man Jake Clifford converted.
Sheffield wouldn’t go away however and two minutes later took an eight point lead.
Hull knocked on at the restart and from the scrum Matty Dawson-Jones went over to make it 14-6. Aston again missing the shot at girl.
In a wild five minutes, Clifford made it eight points for himself on debut popping up to intercept an offload and race away to score and make it 14-12 when he converted his own try.
The Black and Whites thought they’d scored when McIntosh went over from a Tex Hoy pass but the try was disallowed for a forward pass then four minutes later and just minutes shy of halftime Sheffield re-established their eight point lead.
Aston again was on hand to score from a grubber that Hoy didn’t deal with. Aston converted to make it 20-12 at the break. Hull made four changes at the break as they added plenty of young faces but it was an older face who scored thanks to a break from one of Hull FC’s new faces.
Ex-Leeds Rhinos hooker Brad Dwyer sliced through in quintessential fashion before grubbering ahead for Danny Houghton to score.
15 minutes into the second half, Hull FC claimed the lead for the first time. Cameron Scott scored from a Ben McNamara kick as he showed good feet to get over.
As the game closed Hull had 11 academy product on the pitch and they held on to win the game 22-20.