Ash Handley hat-trick as Rhinos prevail over spirited Hull

A first-half comeback and a hat-trick from Ash Handley helped Leeds edge a see-saw encounter against Hull FC.

Hull, who were forced into action yesterday evening, had nine injuries and four players missing due to Covid-19 reasons. Hence, Ben McNamara made his first start, while Lewis Bienek made his first appearance in almost two years.

Leeds made two changes; Bodene Thompson and Jack Walker returned in place of Rob Lui and Alex Mellor.

Mahe Fonua crashed over the line and, following a sinbin to Richie Myler for a professional foul, Andre Savelio received a short ball from Ben McNamara to cross unopposed.

Leeds dominated until half-time and went into the sheds 10-16 ahead; Ash Handley’s bat-back found Jack Walker, who then returned the favour with a no-look flick to Handley. Walker then collected an offload from a falling Matt Prior, while Rhyse Martin’s booted over two conversions. After the break, James Donaldson powered his way over and Handley added his second after his burst of pace and footwork to put Leeds in control.

However, two fourty twenties, from Jake Connor and Marc Sneyd respectively, provided Hull with vital field position and a lifeline. Josh Griffin and Jack Brown were the ones to benefit as they charged over the line and limited their deficit to six.

Liam Sutcliffe claimed a cross-field kick and Handley completed his hat-trick in the closing moments to provide Leeds with a convincing 22-40 victory.

Hull FC: Connor, Faraimo, Fonua, Tuimavave, Scott, McNamara, Sneyd, Sao, Johnstone, Bowden, Griffin, Savelio, Fash; Subs: Satae, Wynne, Bienek, Brown

Leeds: Walker, T. Briscoe, Hurrell, L. Sutcliffe, Handley, Myler, Gale, Seumanufagai, Leeming, Oledzki, Thompson, Martin, Prior; Subs: Dwyer, Smith, Donaldson, Holroyd