Hull FC top four hopes dented with defeat at Huddersfield Giants

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Hull FC top four hopes dented with defeat at Huddersfield Giants

Hull FC failed to make ground on the play-off spots after suffering a surprise 29-18 defeat against Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium.

It was a case of the more clinical and controlled side taking the two points as Hull were left to rue an array of missed opportunities, particularly in the first half, with FC remaining three points adrift of fourth-placed Castleford Tigers having played a game more.

Danny Brough’s return from injury was critical for the hosts as they improved significantly on their heavy defeat to Hull KR with the playmaker back in the line-up.

Hull lost the battle of the forwards and on the back of that Brough sparkled and Hull’s key pivots looked lost and lacking ideas. Whilst ten games remain in the entire campaign, this was a massive missed chance which may be the difference between making the top four or not when it’s all said and done.



Hull FC's Jake Connor is tackled by Huddersfield's Jake Wardle and Aaron Murphy.

Hull FC’s Jake Connor is tackled by Huddersfield’s Jake Wardle and Aaron Murphy.

Lee Radford’s men were made to regret their lack of a clinical edge in the opening period as Jake Connor and Mark Minichiello went close before Albert Kelly couldn’t touch down Connor’s grubber kick.

The Giants instead showed their clinical side on the back of a debatable penalty for holding down on Brough, which handed the home side great field position.

Brough was again at the heart of the action on the ensuing set as his delightful cut-out ball allowed the onrushing Daniel Smith to slice over and expose some poor FC defence in the middle of the park.

Huddersfield made it 6-0 thanks to Brough’s conversion but Hull had a chance to hit back when Alex Mellor lost possession shortly after the restart, only for Hakim Miloudi to aimlessly grubber kick ahead dead in-goal.



Hull FC's Hakim Miloudi is tackled by Huddersfield's Lee Gaskell, Aaron Murphy and Jake Wardle.

Hull FC’s Hakim Miloudi is tackled by Huddersfield’s Lee Gaskell, Aaron Murphy and Jake Wardle.

But the Black and Whites finally took advantage of good field position halfway through the first period. A seemingly lost last-tackle play turned to gold when Kelly produced a delicate grubber on the run which bounced perfectly for Faraimo to touch down in the corner, with Connor converting from the touchline to level the contest.

Huddersfield would soon restore a six-point lead on the back of a penalty for messing around at the play of the ball. There was an element of luck associated with the try as Lee Gaskell’s kick deflected off Kelly, leaving FC full-back Miloudi in no man’s land, something which allowed Aaron Murphy to pounce for the score.

Kelly was again exposed shortly after as the Giants pushed their lead out to 18-6. Strong forward play saw Huddersfield put FC on the back foot and ex-Hull man Jordan Rankin stepped inside Kelly to stroll over.

Brough converted and added a drop goal to ensure the home side took a three-score lead into the break before Huddersfield went close early in the second period when Gaskell’s pass went narrowly over the head of Jermaine McGillvary and into touch.



Hull FC captain Danny Houghton

Hull FC captain Danny Houghton

But the home side took their next chance as neat hands saw McIntosh cross in the left-hand corner before Brough added the extras to give the Giants a 25-6 lead with 28 minutes left.

FC responded in kind from the restart as Scott Taylor was held back from Faraimo’s short kick and the visitors earned a penalty. Hull were quick to hit back with Miloudi doing amazingly well to spin his way over to score, with Connor converting to cut the gap to 13.

Hull couldn’t kick on from that score and instead it was the hosts who showed more composure and controlled the contest in the next critical ten minutes thanks to the assure play of Brough.

The Giants sealed the contest late on when neat hands sent McIntosh over for his second, with Danny Houghton added a late consolation for FC but it was too late for a dramatic comeback as Green lost the ball near the Huddersfield line with two minutes left.



Hull FC owner Adam Pearson

Hull FC owner Adam Pearson

Huddersfield: Jordan Rankin, Jermaine McGillvary, Lee Gaskell, Jake Wardle, Darnell McIntosh, Jordan Turner, Danny Brough, Ukuma Ta’ai, Adam O’Brien, Michael Lawrence, Alex Mellor, Aaron Murphy, Daniel Smith; Ryan Hinchcliffe, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Paul Clough, Oliver Roberts.

Tries: Smith, Murphy, Rankin, McIntosh 2

Goals: Brough 4/5

Drop goal: Brough

Hull FC: Hakim Miloudi, Bureta Faraimo, Cameron Scott, Carlos Tuimavave, Jack Logan, Albert Kelly, Jake Connor, Mickey Paea, Danny Houghton, Scott Taylor, Dean Hadley, Mark Minichiello, Chris Green; Danny Washbrook, Masimbaashe Matongo, Brad Fash, Jack Downs.

Tries: Faraimo, Miloudi, Houghton

Goals: Connor 3/3

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