Video - Hull FC 22 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 4 - Mark Minichiello inspires Airlie Birds to victory over troubled Trinity
THERE will have been no clear-the-air player meetings required this morning after Hull FC ended their three-match losing run.
They had been in chaos last week after a shambolic 46-6 defeat at Widnes Vikings saw head coach Lee Radford claim he had been thrown out of the dressing room by his squad as they began the dissection of that embarrassment.
He admitted later he was foolish for revealing details about the aftermath of the game to the media but also, for all the shenanigans, added how his squad now had to improve fast.
They did so last night as, led by Mark Minichiello, the Australian second-row who scored two tries, and with Carlos Tuimavave making a successful switch from centre to stand-off after Jordan Abdull was dropped, Hull did enough to see off a limited Wakefield Trinity side.
Granted, the Airlie Birds were far from slick but, at least, they now go into the Good Friday derby at Hull KR in a positive frame of mind.
For the visitors, not that he will have needed it, but Chris Chester was given a quick insight into the size of the task that lies ahead as Wakefield head coach.
For all their obvious endeavour and desire here, they were badly lacking guile once more and have now lost six of their opening seven Super League games.
Beforehand, Chester said he would just have a watching brief at the KC Stadium having only been appointed on Wednesday.
However, barely three weeks after being stood down as Hull KR chief, he returned to the city where he won the Challenge Cup with FC in 2005 and was sat with assistant Stuart Dickens in the stands making the calls as Trinity slipped to another reverse.
Admittedly, they were not aided with some poor decisions from the officials who missed a blatant obstruction and forward pass as the hosts scored a try either side of the break.
Trinity also lost prop Anthony England to a leg injury inside just eight minutes and saw fellow front-row Nick Scruton bandaged up soon after following a heavy head knock.
However, basic errors continue to cost them; they forced a drop-out but then saw Tom Johnstone loses the ball in the first tackle, switched off badly to concede another Hull try and were too casual with some of their passing in good areas.
It was a sign of how much pressure Wakefield were under that they received a team warning after just 13 minutes following a succession of penalties near their own line.
Hull duly scored in the next set when Tuimavave popped up a pass for Minichiello to charge onto in his own unmistakable style.
Marc Sneyd slotted the first of his three goals but the visitors responded positively.
Jacob Miller, the former Hull half-back who proved lively at times last night, shimmied through and was unlucky not to win a penalty when Jamie Shaul appeared to halt him with a high tackle.
Nevertheless, Wakefield did cross in the 22nd minute when Miller combined with another returning Airlie Bird Joe Arundel, the tall centre who was given an alarming amount of time to advance onto the Australian’s long pass.
As Hull conceded a couple of penalties, Trinity, growing in confidence, could have scored again but Jon Molloy fumbled at the opportune moment as Liam Finn tried getting him over.
Their good work was undone, however, with a moment of laxness.
Minichiello spilled Tuimavave’s offload in midfield 35m out but hacked it on before the ball hit the ground.
Wakefield full-back Craig Hall failed to dive on the loose ball, presumably expecting a knock-on, and, therefore, Minichiello was able to regather and make it to the posts to give Sneyd a simple conversion.
Radford’s side scored again almost immediately when Shaul zipped clear from dummy-half up in the restart set.
Although Hall desperately prevented the supporting Liam Watts from scoring by getting a hand to the full-back’s pass, Hull were over later in the set, referee James Child somehow missing the obstruction as Frank Pritchard ran behind his own man before sending winger Curtis Naughton – in for the injured Fetuli Talanoa – over at the corner for a 16-4 interval lead.
They extended that lead in yet more fortuitous circumstances after 50 minutes when a clear forward pass was missed in the build-up to Tuimavave finishing off Watts’s line-break between the posts.
With Sneyd making it 22-4, there was no real way back for Trinity, who had plenty of possession but too little precision and must improve for Huddersfield Giants’ visit on Good Friday.
Hull, meanwhile, saw former Great Britain centre Kirk Yeaman make his first appearance of the season following that reshuffle involving Tuimavave, forced by Abdull’s poor display at Widnes and Leon Pryce’s continued absence due to a knee injury.
Hull FC: Shaul; Michaels, Logan, Yeaman, Naughton; Tuimavave, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton, Bowden, Minichiello, Manu, Ellis. Substitutes: Watts, Green, Pritchard, Washbrook.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Hall; Jowitt, Gibson, Arundel, Johnstone; Miller, Finn; Scruton, Howarth, Molloy, Ashurst, Tupou. Substitutes: Sio, Simon, Annakin, Walker.
Referee: J Child (Dewsbury).