Super League: Leeds Rhinos 8-31 Hull FC – Visitors deliver Leeds to fourth loss

Jake Connor danced twice to score in the first half as Hull FC took control
Leeds (0) 8
Try: Briscoe, Sutcliffe
Hull FC (18) 31
Try: Connor 2, Swift, Savelio, Lovodua Goals: McNamara 5 Drop goals: Connor

Jake Connor’s first-half masterclass inspired Hull FC to victory at Leeds Rhinos, who have now lost four of their first five Super League games.

Connor faked twice to score and threw a perfect cut ball for Adam Swift to put Hull in control.

Hull then added to Leeds’ agony when Andre Savelio crashed out and Joe Lovodua dashed a grubber to secure a third win of the year for their side.

Tom Briscoe and Liam Sutcliffe tries were late consolations for Leeds.

Connor’s late drop-goal, however, was the latest act in his own display of personal virtuoso, having focused heavily on him since his omission from Shaun Wane’s last England training squad.

He responded in the most devastating fashion, shining in Hull’s defeat to Castleford last weekend and then playing for Brett Hodgson’s side at Headingley to lay the platform for success.

The field, led by Chris Satae, Ligi Sao and Brad Fash did not diminish – despite an Achilles injury to Joe Cator and the loss of Kane Evans during parts of the match – and continually put the Rhinos back.

With that power, Connor, Ben McNamara and substitute half-back Lovodua took advantage, attacking the defense to great effect.

After ending their winless run at Wakefield last week by going 30-0 at half-time, Leeds have had a taste of their own home medicine.

They had chances to reach Hull, Sutcliffe making two drift passes to captain Ash Handley, while David Fusitu’a also had a try ruled out when his touchdown appeared to graze the touchline.

Some home fans left early with Leeds well beaten, missing the late charge that gave those left behind some hope for the games to come.

Hull head coach Brett Hodgson told BBC Radio Humberside:

“I thought the performance was exceptional, we had players out of position – I thought Joe Lovodua was brilliant, I thought Ligi in the back row was exceptional. Overall 1-17, I can’t be unhappy with anyone’s performance..

“What is concerning are the injuries, but it is also concerning that we have been put in this position by the four-day turnaround at this time of year.

“We do a lot for the well-being of the players with yellow cards and make sure we look after the players, but then we ask them to turn around and play after a short period – we had no d training before this game apart from a short term.

“We are all disgusted for Joe [Cator], it’s hard to enjoy a night like this when one of your own is hurt like he did. Kane [Evans’] calf tightened the second stint, and we didn’t want to risk it.”

London: Walker; Fusitu’a, Sutcliffe, Briscoe, Handley; Austin, Sezer; Oledzki, Johnson, Prior, Gannon, Martin, Tetevano

Trades : Dwyer, Mellor, Donaldson, Thompson

FC Hull: Connor; Shaul, Vulikijapani, Griffin, Swift; McNamara, Lovodua; Evans, Houghton, Satae, Sao, Savelio, Brown

Trades : Cator, Fash, Johnstone, Bowden

Arbitrator: Liam Moore

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