Leeds Rhinos suffer massive blow against Hull FC

Leeds Rhinos have suffered a blow in their clash against Hull FC with Morgan Gannon failing his Head Injury Assessment meaning he will miss the rest of the game and the trip to St Helens next week.

He picked up the head injury in a tackle on Hull FC that ironically Leeds were penalised for after Blake Austin was seen as guilty of a tip tackle.

Gannon missed the Grand Final and semi-final last year through concussion protocols.

It is the last thing Leeds needed.

After last week’s performance, it was vital that Leeds started well and that they did. They rolled Hull FC down field brilliantly in the first five minutes and very nearly punctuated their dominance with a try as Richie Myler grubbered through and Nene MacDonald was a bounce of the ball away from a debut try.

Concerningly for the Rhinos the good start petered out with errors and penalties opening the door for Hull FC to have the first meaningful attack and they exploited Ash Handley’s lack of experience at centre to create space for Cam Scott to squeeze through a gap. It has unfortunately been a hallmark of Leeds for many years since the end of the Golden Generation that they often start games well and concede first. Credit Hull’s key players for engineering such a good chance with their first attack.

Leeds got back on top especially after a brilliant Kruise Leeming break and on the back of a good Blake Austin kick had their first real attacking set but played it almost too direct up the middle and were stopped by a defiant defence.

Cameron Smith was having an excellent game and eventually it was him who got Leeds level. He was given space by a Leeming ball, Smith dummied and out muscled opposite number Joe Lovodua to stretch out and score.

A brilliant run and offload by substitute Chris Satae saw Hull FC take the lead again after dealing with more Leeds pressure. Satae exposed a gap created as Aidan Sezer rushed out and his offload found space and a former Rhino was on hand to score in the shape of Liam Sutcliffe.

The Hull FC subs were making a real impact. After another brilliant Satae drive, Kane Evans looked to have crashed over. Jack Smith looked set to award the try but a call from the touch judge prompted Smith to call on the video ref who spotted a knock on. Credit to the officials, a worry for Leeds.

Hull FC then withstood a late attack from Leeds to go into the break at 10-6.

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