Widnes Vikings are destined for the Qualifiers in 2018, but they presented Hull FC with a stern challenge tonight at the KC Stadium, eventually going down 31-24.
The black and whites were never able to feel comfortable, but a field goal by Jake Connor was crucial in re-establishing a lead when the Vikings had fought back to 24-24 in the second half.
There was a triple boost for Hull, with Sika Manu, Dean Hadley and Jamie Shaul all returning to the squad, while England duo Connor and Scott Taylor wre also included.
Rhys Hanbury returned to the Widnes squad, while Academy winger Owen Buckley made a tryscoring debut as the Vikings sought their first win under interim coach Francis Cummins.
Hull FC: 1 Jamie Shaul, 2 Bureta Faraimo, 3 Carlos Tuimavave, 14 Jake Connor, 28 Hakim Miloudi, 6 Albert Kelly, 35 Liam Harris, 8 Scott Taylor, 9 Danny Houghton, 23 Mickey Paea, 11 Dean Hadley, 12 Mark Minichiello, 21 Sika Manu, Subs: 17 Danny Washbrook, 20 Brad Fash, 24 Jack Logan, 29 Masi Matongo
Tries: Kelly, Miloudi, Harris, Tuimavave, Faraimo; Goals: Connor 5; Field Goal: Connor
Vikings: 1 Rhys Hanbury, 37 Owen Buckley, 3 Krisnan Inu, 4 Charly Runciman, 5 Patrick Ah Van, 6 Joe Mellor, 15 Danny Craven, 25 Jay Chapelhow, 33 Aaron Heremaia, 8 Gil Dudson, 17 Sam Wilde, 39 Weller Hauraki, 16 Tom Olbison; Subs: 12 Matt Whitley, 10 Alex Gerrard, 20 MacGraff Leuluai, 23 Danny Walker.
Tries: Runciman, Buckley, Wilde, J Chapelhow; Goals: Inu 4
For a full report and photos from tonight’s game, be sure to order League Express on Monday morning, or available digitally from Sunday night.