IN HIS 500th career game, Keith Senior fittingly produced the sort of skills that became his trademarks through 13 years with Leeds Rhinos.
Approaching the seventh anniversary of the fixture that marked such a notable milestone – Leeds won 43-30 at Hull FC on July 4, 2009 – the Great Britain international was at his blistering best.
First, there was the obligatory set-up for a Ryan Hall try.
The winger still acknowledges now just how massive an impact his centre Senior had on his burgeoning career and it was no different here at the KC Stadium.
Then there was one of his bullocking runs, swatting aside a would-be defender, to cruise in for a try of his own.
He was 33 at the time but still showing all the traits that had, at one point, made him one of the best centres in world rugby and such a force in Super League especially.
The win meant Leeds closed the gap on Super League leaders St Helens to just two points and, of course, by the end of the season they would be crowned champions again for a third successive year.
Hull never truly recovered after an awful opening quarter in which they trailed 24-6.
Hall added his second try following Kevin Sinfield’s 40/20 kick, Sinfield improving both and, though ex-Australia international Shaun Berrigan replied for the hosts, Danny Tickle converting, it was only a temporary reprieve.
Ex-Rhinos prop Jamie Thackray soon lost the ball to present the visitors with the chance that Senior duly claimed and Brian McClellan’s side struck in the very next set, too, as Aussie winger Scott Donald sprinted over.
Rob Burrow then eluded Lee Radford – the current Hull boss who has taken FC to the top of Super League and Challenge Cup semi-finals this season – to send Sinfield over for another converted try. Tickle converted his own score to narrow the deficit but Leeds would not let up.
Ashley Gibson scored a try before Gareth Raynor and Kirk Yeaman gave Hull hope, Burrow dropping a goal to keep them at bay. Mike Burnett added a further score for Hull but Lee Smith’s late try made sure for the champions.