|Betfred Super League
|Hull FC (12) 25
|Tries: Connor, Houghton, Sneyd, Griffin Goals: Sneyd 4 Drop-goal: Sneyd
|Hull KR (10) 16
|Tries: Livett, Quinlan, Crooks Goals: Ellis 2
Danny Houghton marked his 350th appearance for Hull FC with a try to help them overcome city rivals Hull KR in a enthralling derby at KCOM Stadium.
Houghton’s score put the hosts 12-10 up at the break, with Jake Connor’s earlier effort for FC coming between Harvey Livett and Adam Quinlan tries.
A fine second-half try, finished by Ben Crooks, restored Rovers’ lead.
But scores from Marc Sneyd and Josh Griffin, along with a resolute defence, ensured victory for the hosts.
Much had been made about how Tony Smith’s Rovers could not match their city rivals pound for pound, but they worked hard to exploit their neighbours with a high-tempo and expansive approach to the derby.
Livett’s opening try set an early tone for the visitors, with Rovers probing FC’s defence before the ball was moved with speed and purpose from wide on the right to the back-rower on the left, where he squeezed under a number of desperate tackles to score.
As Rovers celebrated that try, both sets of supporters united to wear Mose Masoe masks in tribute to the KR forward who suffered a career-ending spinal injury during pre-season. Buckets were at the turnstiles before the match to raise funds for the former Sydney Roosters, Penrith Panthers and St Helens players.
Connor then cruised through a gap with what was the hosts’ first real chance to level, and Sneyd gave them the lead for the first time with his conversion.
Quinlan powered over from close range to restore the visitors’ advantage, but home captain Houghton was quickest to get on the end of a Sneyd grubber kick to grab a try that sent much of the KCOM crowd into rapture.
Rovers resisted early second-half pressure before reclaiming the advantage with an early candidate for try of the season – an inventive nine-pass move that started with a burst from Jamie Ellis and exchange of passes with Shaun Kenny-Dowall and included a flick on from Dean Hadley on the way to Crooks on the left edge.
While Ellis landed the touchline conversion he went on to miss a kickable penalty to build on their lead.
Soon after Sneyd touched down on the way to amassing 13 points, a tally he completed with a late drop-goal after Griffin grabbed the Airlie Birds’ fourth score.
‘A proper derby’
Hull FC boss Lee Radford told BBC Radio Humberside:
“I’m over the moon to get a result, first and foremost. Credit where credit is due, I thought they were good for 60 minutes – they did exactly what I said they would come and do.
“But eventually we got them in the end – we wore them down in the back end of the game and came out on top.
“It was a proper derby, they played with plenty of enthusiasm and played to their strengths. In the end we stayed in the arm-wrestle long enough to come out the other end of it.”
Hull KR coach Tony Smith told BBC Radio Humberside:
“It was a great atmosphere, great spirit from both teams and a good contest.
“You couldn’t ask for too much more… well we could ask for a little bit more and that would have been on the scoreboard, but it was not to be this time.
“FC have class, they can make you pay for some errors and they did make us pay for a few. I’m really proud of the effort from my boys.
“We might not have the biggest names but there are boys out there trying to make names for themselves.”
Hull FC: Shaul; Naulago, Tuimavave, Griffin, Swift; Connor, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton, Sao, Jones, Lane, Savelio.
Replacements: Satae, Johnstone, Bowden, Fonua.
Hull KR: Quinlan; Crooks, Linnett, Kenny-Dowall, Minikin; Brierley, Ellis; Mulhern, Litten, Murray, Storton, Livett, Lawler.
Replacements: Minchella, Maher, Trout, Hadley.
Referee: Robert Hicks.