Hull FC produced a brilliant second half performance to end the Catalans Dragons hold on the Challenge Cup as they won 51-8 at the KC Stadium.
It was a great start for the home side and they took the lead after six minutes as Jake Connor collected Marc Sneyd’s high kick to get through the defence and score. Sneyd scored the conversion to drag the Black and Whites six points ahead.
The Black and Whites were soon in again as Sneyd’s booming pass found Bureta Faraimo who went in out wide on his return. Sneyd converted again to bring the home side 12 points in front.
The Dragons were working hard and eventually got their reward as Lewis Tierney got in out wide. Sam Tomkins missed the conversion but the Dragons were back in it.
Just like their hosts, the Dragons got two quick fire tries as Tony Gigot’s booming pass out wide found Tierney who got in for his second. Tomkins once again missed the conversion, but the visitors were back to within four points. It stayed like this going into the break.
The first points of the second half went to the hosts as Sneyd kicked a penalty straight in front of the posts.
The Black and Whites started the second half in familiar fashion as they grabbed a try early on. This time, Albert Kelly set Sika Manu free, who crossed for his first try since Round One of the Super League. Sneyd converted to extend the hosts’ lead even further.
It was soon even better for the Airlie Birds as they produced a brilliant counter attack to give themselves some much needed breathing space. Connor collected Kenny Edwards’ offload and gave the ball to winger Ratu Naugalu who ran 60m to score. Sneyd converted again to make it a three try advantage for Hull.
That advantage was soon extended as Kelly managed to see a gap in the Dragons defence and go half the length of the pitch to score. Sneyd scored the easy conversion to make it a 24 point lead for the hosts. Sneyd then later added a drop goal to rub salt in the Dragons’ wounds.
The 2018 Challenge Cup winners Catalans then shot themselves in the foot as Kenny Edwards lost the ball, allowing Naugalu to power over for his second try of the night. Sneyd converted again to further compound the Dragons’ misery.
The holders really couldn’t handle Albert Kelly as he broke through the defence again and set up Jamie Shaul to score under the posts. Sneyd converted as the Black and Whites broke the 40 point mark.
Hull were finding gaps all over the pitch in the second half and it was Sneyd this time who set up Danny Houghton to go through and score. Sneyd converted to reassert the home sides dominance of the second half.
The former two time winners are back in the semi finals after an agonising defeat at St Helens last year in the Quarter Finals. They await their semi final opponents, but their next match in the Super League is against Salford Red Devils next Friday.
As for the Dragons, their historic hold of the Challenge Cup is over. They travel to Warrington Wolves next Saturday.