2020 Season Review: Hull FC

It was a real season of transition for Hull FC, who started the season by making seven new signings.

Josh Jones signed from Salford Red Devils, Adam Swift came in from St Helens, Mahe Fonua returned to the club from Wests Tigers, Manu Ma’u came in from Parramatta Eels, Jordan Johnstone came in from Widnes Vikings while Chris Satae and Ligi Sao signed from New Zealand Warriors.

Statement Start

They started the 2020 season at Headingley, playing in the second match of a double-header against Leeds Rhinos.

They made a real statement, as two tries from Ratu Naulago, and others from Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Bowden and Jamie Shaul saw the Black and Whites pick up a 30-4 victory.

Next up was a first Hull derby of the season, and the only one to be played in front of a crowd.Despite an early scare from Hull KR, the Black and Whites went on to win 25-12. Tries from Jake Connor, Marc Sneyd, Josh Griffin and Danny Houghton ensured the bragging rights stayed west of the city.

However, Hull then lost their next three matches against St Helens, Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons.

They returned to winning ways in Round Six at Wakefield Trinity with a Golden Point victory. Tries from Fonua, Kieran Buchanan and Albert Kelly, with Sneyd getting the game-winning drop-goal.

A new Era

Their final game before lockdown saw them humbled 36-4 at home to Warrington Wolves.This would be the final time Lee Radford would take charge of Hull, as he was sacked after the match. Chairman Adam Pearson confirmed the news on Sky Sports after the match, with Andy Last taking charge until the end of the season.

Hull would not play again until August, when they were humbled 54-18 by Salford Red Devils at Headingley. To make matters worse, this would be the last time they would play for almost a month.

COVID Struggles

A coronavirus outbreak meant the club had to lockdown again until it was safe for them to continue.They eventually returned to action at the end of August, where Last picked up his first victory as Head Coach. Tries from Kelly, Sneyd, Griffin, Fonua and Brown earned a 31-12 victory over Huddersfield Giants.

Hull lost against Warrington again in Round 11, but bounced back a week later against Wakefield. Two tries from Jordan Lane and Swift, plus another from Andre Savelio earned Hull a 26-23 victory.

Just three days later, the Black and Whites faced Castleford Tigers in St Helens in Round Six of the Challenge Cup. Two tries from Tuimavave, and others from Kelly and Naulago earned a 29-16 victory.

However, that all came crashing down a week later, as they lost 36-4 against Wigan Warriors in the Quarter Finals.

A week later, Hull lost what felt like a crucial game against Salford in the race for the playoffs.

They then spoiled Castleford’s return to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle with a 32-28 victory. Tries from Cameron Scott, Johnstone, Satae, Ben McNamara and Connor earned the win.

Hull should have had the week off next. Every team got a bye week following Toronto Wolfpack’s withdrawal from the competition.

However, due to a COVID outbreak at Castleford, they were drafted in with less than 24 hours notice to face Leeds Rhinos. They lost the game 40-22. That would be their final defeat of the season.

Playoff Push

Next up was Huddersfield Giants in Warrington, with the Black and Whites claiming a crucial 18-16 victory in the race for the playoffs. Tries from Naulago, Fonua and Bureta Faraimo saw them home.

A week later, they played their first game at the KCOM Stadium since lockdown against Castleford. Two tries from Naulago, and others from Savelio, Connor, Faraimo, Houghton, Tuimavave and Ma’u earned a thumping 48-6 victory.

Their next match against Catalans Dragons was cancelled, again because of COVID, but they rounded off the season with another derby win.Two tries from Naulago and Faraimo, and others from Bowden and Sao saw the Black and Whites claim a 31-16 win.

The season ended early as a result of rising COVID cases across the board. Hull were able to pip Huddersfield to the final playoff spot after they lost against Wigan. Their reward was a trip to Warrington.

An enthusiastic performance saw them pick up a 27-14 victory. Two tries from Faraimo, and others from Satae, Joe Cator and Connor saw them pick up victory.

They were now just one game away from a home Grand Final. It was moved from Old Trafford because of logistical issues around Manchester United’s schedule.

They faced league leaders Wigan at the DW Stadium. They started well, but fell to a 29-2 defeat.

It may have been a disappointing end to the season. But the future is certainly bright for Hull. Brett Hodgson is the clubs new Head Coach, and they have already made a statement signing in Josh Reynolds.

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