7 Jun 2019
Hull FC defeat Salford
Hull FC held off a Salford Red Devils fightback to cling onto a 35-32 victory, despite finishing the match with 11 men.
The hosts raced into an 18-0 lead inside 14 minutes thanks to converted tries from Albert Kelly, Jake Connor and Mark Minichiello. Wakefield loanee Pauli Pauli got Salford on the scoreboard before Kelly jinked his way over for a second score.
Jake Bibby and Jamie Shaul traded tries as Hull held a 28-12 half-time lead, but the visitors cut into the deficit with Robert Lui's touchdown three minutes after the restart.
Former Red Devil Marc Sneyd, who finished with 11 points, added a drop-goal before Ratu Naulago raced clear to put Hull 35-16 up with 15 minutes remaining.
However, Pauli Pauli crashed over before Hull prop Chris Green and Salford counterpart Adam Walker finished the match in the sin-bin and home centre Josh Griffin was sent off for a dangerous tackle.
Bibby and Niall Evalds in quick succession to set up a nervy finale, but Hull held on to move level with third-placed Catalans Dragons in the Betfred Super League table.
Hull head coach Lee Radford said: “It’s a win, a shallow one but a win. The game should have been killed off really early and definitely could have been 10 minutes after half-time.
“Instead, we made some basic errors that gave Salford a leg up.
“Some of our tries from distance were amazing. And we could have had a couple more.”
Salford boss Ian Watson said: “We showed some real fight in the second half but we were embarrassed and disappointed by our first-half performance.
“We came with an attitude that we didn’t want to defend. It looked like we wanted to do the easy stuff.
“We should have come here wanting to do the gritty stuff and enjoy the gritty stuff.
“It is an individual attitude that is something we need to address. There was a lack of ruthlessness to hit someone defensively and hurt them.
“We are better than that and we need to address the way we started that first half.
“You can’t turn up for a Super League game thinking you can play tig-and-pass for 40 minutes, you are kidding yourself."