Clinical Hull FC vanquish York City Knights with 11-try haul
HULL FC brought their pre-season to a close in emphatic fashion with a convincing 60-14 win against York City Knights at the Huntington Stadium.
Six tries in 20 first-half minutes, including a double from former York winger Tom Lineham, put the Black and Whites on their way to the easiest of victories against their Championship opponents.
Head coach Peter Gentle selected a youthful side, with Richard Horne, Richard Whiting and Paul Johnson the only players able to boast any real experience.
Backed by aspiring Super League players such as Josh Bowden, Chris Green and Ben Crooks, Hull proved far too strong in every facet.
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Having taken their time to find their feet, once Hull got going they proved unstoppable for a York side that lacked the cutting edge in attack and defensive resolve to make it a competitive encounter.
The game over as a contest at half-time, Gentle had clearly got what he needed from his senior players with Horne and Whiting not used in the second half.
The only sour note was an eye problem for Johnson, which saw him have to depart the game in the first half, but he was fine at full-time.
Ripped apart in particular by the right-sided partnership of Lineham and Crooks, ably supported by Jamie Shaul, Danny Nicklas and Horne, Hull brought a three-month pre-season to a close in style, as attention now switches to Friday’s opening Super League encounter at Leeds.
A dour opening 20 minutes, which saw both sides attempt to get to grips with the blustery conditions and slippery ball, finally sprang into life thanks to Shaul’s try.
The Hull full-back had made the most of good work by Horne to break through the York defensive line before passing out wide to Lineham.
With the Knights’ full-back approaching, Lineham found Shaul in support for a simple touchdown.
Hull wasted little time in stretching their lead to 12 points as Danny Nicklas went alone on an arcing run to touchdown from 10 metres out.
York were counting the cost of being unable to break through a well-structured Hull defence in the opening quarter. Undeterred by their disadvantage on the scoreboard, the Knights came back in spirited style.
But, yet again, a failure to find a way through the Hull defensive line was punished by the visitors, who soaked up the pressure before marching down field and adding to their try tally with a further four scores before half-time, three coming in a dominant four-minute spell.
Moving the ball across field and dragging the Knights’ defence apart, Horne’s kick behind the defence found Crooks ready to pounce.
No sooner had the game got under way and Lineham was put away for his first, before then combining superbly with Crooks straight from kick-off to finish a length-of-the-field effort for his second.
York were hoping to hear the half-time whistle, but worse was to follow when under-19s prop Jansen Turgut ghosted through a gaping hole in the York defence to compound a miserable 20-minute period for the hosts.
The one-way traffic continued in the second half, with Shaul’s second try and a score for Jack Briscoe taking Hull beyond 40 points before many fans had even returned from their half-time refreshments.
York, to their credit, kept coming and hit back with their own quick-fire hat-trick of tries.
But, having gained some respectability, it was left to Hull to finish on top with 17-year-old winger Tom Stark scoring in the corner, before Nicklas completed a good personal display with his second try and trial player Jack Latus got his name on the scoresheet.