Monday 23rd July 2012, 20:00 - Round:21
Hull Kingston Rovers
|James Laithwaite, Mickey Paea, Josh Hodgson,||T||Ryan McGoldrick, Jordan Turner, Kirk Yeaman, Richard Whiting, Tom Briscoe,|
Michael Dobson 3,
Jamie Foster 6,
Attendance: 9,086 Official: R Silverwood Venue: Craven Park
Hull FC coach Peter Gentle's bold selection gamble paid off as the Black and Whites got the better of their arch rivals in tonight's Stobart Super League derby at Craven Park to secure only their second win in eight games.
Gentle responded to his team's dismal form by dropping Australian scrum-half Brett Seymour, their high-profile signing for 2012, and they looked a transformed side as they boosted their flagging play-off hopes.
Hull's victory lifted them above fast-fading Huddersfield Giants into seventh place and left the Robins struggling to make the top eight after a fourth consecutive defeat.
Gentle experimented with a new half-back pairing of Aaron Heremaia and Ryan McGoldrick and also gave debuts to on-loan St Helens winger Jamie Foster and local youngster Tom Lineham, taking the number of players he has used so far this season to 34.
Foster, who landed the injury-time penalty that earned St Helens a 36-36 draw against Hull KR on this ground in March, kicked six goals from as many attempts to make it a memorable debut.
Foster actually made the worst possible start by putting the ball out on the full from the kick-off but he quickly made amends by bundling Rovers winger David Hodgson into touch to save a try and kicked immaculately throughout.
The Robins took the lead with a fifth-minute penalty from Michael Dobson but they were badly out of sorts throughout a first half in which their opponents carved out all the scoring opportunities.
McGoldrick rounded Dobson to score straight from a scrum, awarded after full-back Shannon McDonnell had fumbled Foster's restart, and centre Jordan Turner added a second try following a break by impressive full-back Richard Horne.
Turner was forced off shortly afterwards after taking a heavy tackle for which Rovers second-rower Con Mika was put on report, while the visitors also suffered an injury blow when McDonnell limped off on 26 minutes.
Former Hull player Graeme Horne went closest to scoring for the visitors, having the ball stripped from his grasp as he went for the line, while Hull's England winger Tom Briscoe was denied a try after putting a foot in touch.
The Black and Whites extended their lead just before half-time with a Foster penalty but it was down to just six points six minutes into the second half when Hull KR scored their first try.
It followed a fumble by Richard Horne, who failed to clear the danger caused by Dobson's kick, and presented forward James Laithwaite with his first Super League try after video referee Ian Smith gave him the benefit of the doubt.
Dobson kicked his second goal but Hull quickly exposed their opponents' defensive weaknesses to restore their 12-point advantage.
Dobson got back to deny McGoldrick after a superb break by Watts but there was no stopping second-rower Willie Manu as he broke clean through Rovers' defence to get centre Kirk Yeaman over for a third try.
At 20-8, Hull looked to have the game in the bag but memories of their collapse at the Etihad Stadium, where they let slip a 30-14 lead, came flooding back as Rovers staged a stirring fightback, scoring two tries in five minutes to close the gap to just two points.
Dobson broke clear to send prop Mickey Paea charging over and loose forward Josh Hodgson took Lincoln Withers' pass from dummy half to go over.
Rovers ought to have added a third try when Dobson produced another clean break but Briscoe and Lineham got back to bring down the supporting Sam Latus 10 yards short of the line.
The visitors took full advantage of the let-off when loose forward Richard Whiting took McGoldrick's defence-splitting pass to score his side's fourth try and Hull made sure of the win when Foster got Briscoe over four minutes from the end.