Rhinos hold off late FC fightback


Leeds Rhinos staved off a late Hull FC fightback to get back to winning ways in front of the new look Headingley.

It was a good start for the Rhinos and they took the lead after just four minutes as Kallum Watkins was able to collect a kick from Richie Myler and ground the ball. He scored the conversion despite slipping on the surface.

Leeds really did put the pressure on early and soon increased their lead with a good team move that saw Tom Briscoe go in in the corner. Watkins pulled the conversion wide this time, but it was still a ten point lead for the Rhinos.

The Black and Whites needed a response and they got it when Dean Hadley managed to crash over. Marc Sneyd hit the conversion to reduce the deficit to just four points for the defending Challenge Cup champions. Hull also had two further efforts disallowed by the video referee.

The first score of the second half would be crucial and it was Leeds who got it through Watkins again as he was able to catch and ground the ball well. However, he hit the post with his conversion attempt.

Briscoe then got his second to put the Rhinos into an excellent position going into the closing stages as he was able to finish off another classy team move. Watkins didn’t let that earlier miss effect him and he nailed another brilliant touchline effort.

But this woke Hull up and they got right back into the game after a short kick off. From the resulting set, Jordan Abdull was able to cross over and with the conversion from Sneyd, the deficit was just eight points with 15 minutes to go.

Fetuli Talanoa then went over to make it an even nervier finish for the Super League champions, but they held their nerve to record victory for the third time in four games. They travel to St Helens next Friday.

As for Hull FC, they suffer back to back defeats and will want to get back to winning ways quickly. They travel to Salford Red Devils next Friday.

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