Hull FC grind out nailbiting win over Leeds Rhinos as Brad Dwyer enjoys return to Headingley

HULL FC continued their 100% winning run to the 2023 Super League campaign with a nailbiting win over Leeds Rhinos.

Hull FC drew first blood when a neat passing move ended with Cam Scott going over in the corner off a Jake Clifford pass. Clifford couldn’t convert though as the Black and Whites led 4-0 after 12 minutes.

The Rhinos hit back as the clock struck the midway point of the first-half, Cameron Smith finding enough power and stretch to find the line. Rhyse Martin converted to send Leeds into a 6-4 lead.

Hull sent the kick-off straight into touch, but held firm and they had their second four-pointer of the night 13 minutes before the break when Liam Sutcliffe dived over after a great offload from Chris Satae. Clifford converted from out wide to make it 10-6.

The visitors almost had another on the half-hour, but Kane Evans knocked on over the line. And after a brilliant 40/20 from Aidan Sezer, Leeds had one chance before half-time, but stern Hull defence kept the hosts out.

It was nip and tuck after the break, but Hull extended their lead with nine minutes gone as a Josh Griffin break laid the platform for an Adam Swift try. Clifford was on target to make it 16-6.

Substitute Justin Sangare made the difference off the bench, making a rampaging run to set up Kruise Leeming as the hour approached. Martin converted under the posts to reduce the deficit to four at 16-12.

Leeds twice should have scored after superb breaks from Cameron Smith and Ash Handley, but passes outside and inside didn’t hit their man and Hull survived.

It was third time lucky for the Rhinos, however, as a great Sezer pass found David Fusitu’a who cut inside to finish well. Martin’s conversion sent Leeds into the lead for the first time since the 20th minute at 18-16.

That being said, with Brad Dwyer pulling the strings, a neat ball to Scott Taylor saw the prop force his way over. Clifford converted to make it 22-18.

Despite good chances, the Rhinos couldn’t get over the line one last time as the Black and Whites held on for a great away victory.

Leeds Rhinos

1 Richie Myler
2 David Fusitu’a
4 Nene MacDonald
5 Ash Handley
16 Derrell Olpherts
6 Blake Austin
7 Aidan Sezer
18 Tom Holroyd
9 Kruise Leeming
10 Zane Tetevano
20 Morgan Gannon
12 Rhyse Martin
13 Cameron Smith
15 Sam Lisone
14 Jarrod O’Connor
17 Justin Sangare
25 James Donaldson

Tries: Smith, Leeming, Fusitu’a
Goals: Martin 3/3

Hull FC

1 Tex Hoy
2 Adam Swift
4 Liam Sutcliffe
17 Cam Scott
5 Darnell McIntosh
7 Jake Clifford
19 Ben McNamara
13 Brad Fash
33 Brad Dwyer
30 Scott Taylor
12 Jordan Lane
23 Josh Griffin
14 Joe Lovodua
9 Danny Houghton
10 Chris Satae
15 Joe Cator
16 Kane Evans

Tries: Scott, Sutcliffe, Swift, Taylor
Goals: Clifford 3/4

Referee: Jack Smith
Venue: Headingley Stadium
Half-time: 6-10
Scoring sequence: 0-4, 6-4, 6-10; 6-16, 12-16, 18-16, 18-22