Report: Leeds Rhinos 24 Hull FC 43: Low-key Rhinos miss out on Wembley final

Brian McDermott's Leeds meet Lee Radford's Hull in the Challenge Cup semi-final
Brian McDermott's Leeds meet Lee Radford's Hull in the Challenge Cup semi-final
11
Have your say

There will be no Wembley appearance for Leeds Rhinos this year after they were hammered 43-24 by Hull in Saturday’s semi-final.

Hull - who had lost their previous eight meetings with Leeds - were by far the better team and full value for the victory which keeps alive their hopes of retaining the trophy they won last year.

Leeds led twice, but never got into anything like top gear. Ex-Hull winger Tom Briscoe was terrorised by Marc Sneyd’s clever kicking game and Leeds’ defence - though strong for long spells - was opened up quite easily on several occasions.

Rhinos’ attack was one-dimensional and they failed to apply solid pressure at any stage.

Leeds went in front twice in the first half thanks to fantastic finishing by Ryan Hall, but a dubious try on the final play sent them in at the break 18-12 behind.

Hull dominated the third quarter to go three scores clear and though Leeds gave themselves a glimmer with their third try they crumbled soon afterwards as the black and whites rubbed salt into the wound with three late tries.

Hall broke the deadlock after 18 minutes, doing brilliantly to get the ball down after he collected Joel Moon’s kick.

His second try was even more spectacular, coming off a low kick by Kallum Watkins after he had run across the defence.

Watkins converted both, the second from the touchline, but Leeds conceded immediately after each of their first half scores.

Albert Kelly stepped through from Danny Houghton’s pass for the first and Marc Sneyd sent Carlos Tuimavave over for the second.

Just before the break Sneyd’s kick was well claimed by Kelly and Chris Green collected the No 6’s offload to go between the posts.

The pass was clearly forward, but the touchdown was given and Sneyd landed his third conversion.

Mark Minichiello crossed early on, but the touchdown was disallowed by video referee Robert Hicks due to an obstruction by Houghton.

And before that Ashton Golding swooped over from Adam Cuthbertson’s pass, but referee Phil Bentham had already called held.

Rhinos had a huge escape at the start of the second half when Fetuli Talanoa could not take Sneyd’s pass a few metres out.

But Hull extended their lead soon afterwards. Sneyd kicked to Hull’s left, Briscoe hesitated and Talano knocked the ball back to Tuimavave who strolled over for his second.

Sneyd converted and added a drop goal.

Rhinos gave themselves a chance with 20 minutes left when Moon teed up McGuire and Watkins collected his grubber to power over for a try which he also converted.

But yet again they conceded almost immediately, Liam Watts storming over to make the game safe. Rhinos collapsed over that as Jamie Shaul raced the full length of the field from a grubber kick by Watkins, the re-start didn’t go 10 metres and off the penalty Scott Taylor crashed over for Hull’s seventh try, Sneyd maintaining his 100 per cent record with the boot to complete Hull’s scoring.

Ashton Golding’s first try of the season, which Jordan Lilley covnerted two minutes from time, was scant consolation for Leeds.

Hull will play either Salford Red Devils or Wigan Warriors, who meet on Sunday, in next month’s final.

STAND-UP GUY: Jamie Jones-Buchanan. PIC: Tony Johnson

Leeds Rhinos: Stalwart forward JJB happy to ‘stand up and be counted’