Hull FC suffered an agonising 25-24 defeat to Catalans Dragons today in Perpignan, with a late Tony Gigot field-goal deciding the issue and Catalans’ new signing Josh Drinkwater forming a promising partnership with Gigot on his debut.
And there was more bad news for Hull, with Albert Kelly and Jordan Abdull, who was a late addition to the squad following the illness of Marc Sneyd, both having to leave the field with knee and leg injuries respectively, while Jake Connor and Michael McIlorum spent time in the sinbin in the second half following an altercation.
The black and whites took an early lead after just four minutes with a try by Scott Taylor, with Jake Connor adding the conversion.
But the Dragons equalised through Brayden Wiliame, with Drinkwater scoring his first points for his new club with the conversion.
But Hull went back in the lead with a try to Frenchman Hakim Maloudi and when Connor converted and added a penalty on 36 minutes after referee James Child issued a team warning to the Catalans, it looked as though things were going Hull’s way.
But Drinkwater added a penalty shortly before the interval, and at the start of the second half the Dragons shocked Hull with two tries in three minutes to Drinkwater and Gigot, with Drinkwater’s conversions putting the Dragons 20-14 ahead.
Hull hit back, however, when Taylor score his second, with Connor’s goal levelling the scores before his penalty edged Hull in front.
But, in tit-for-tat fashion, Drinkwater equalised before the pair swapped one more penalty each before the dramatic conclusion of the game, as Josh Bowden dropped the ball coming out of his own half, creating the position for Gigot to add his late field-goal to win the game much to the relief of the Catalans’ supporters.
Dragons: 31 Tony Gigot, 2 Jodie Broughton, 1 David Mead, 4 Brayden William, 20 Lewis Tierney, 6 Samisoni Langi, 33 Josh Drinkwater, 8 Rémi Casty, 19 Michael Mcilorum, 15 Mickael Simon, 21 Benjamin Jullien, 12 Benjamin Garcia, 13 Greg Bird; Subs: 10 Sam Moa, 11 Louis Anderson, 17 Jason Baitieri, 23 Antoni Maria
Tries: Wiliame, Drinkwater, Gigot; Goals: Drinkwater 6; Field Goal: Gigot
Hull FC: 28 Hakim Miloudi, 2 Bureta Faraimo, 14 Jake Connor, 4 Josh Griffin, 5 Fetuli Talanoa, 6 Albert Kelly, 16 Jordan Abdull, 8 Scott Taylor, 9 Danny Houghton, 13 Josh Bowden, 21 Sika Manu, 12 Mark Minichiello, 11 Dean Hadley; Subs: 3 Carlos Tuimavave, 23 Mickey Paea, 26 Jordan Lane, 29 Masi Matongo
Tries: Taylor 2, Maloudi; Goals: Connor 6
A full report of this game with photos will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express, available in the shops and online from Sunday evening.