Loan signing Ellis Longstaff marked his debut for Hull FC with two tries in the Betfred Super League Magic Weekend derby in Newcastle; Elliot Minchella had a late try controversially ruled out by the video referee
By Marc Bazeley at St James’ Park
Last Updated: 10/07/22 9:45pm
Debutant Ellis Longstaff scored two tries to help Hull FC to a 34-28 derby triumph at Magic Weekend, but Hull Kingston Rovers were left to rue Elliot Minchella having a try controversially ruled out by the video referee.
The Black and Whites had led by 10 points thanks to converted tries from Connor Wynne and Joe Lovodua, but the teams went in level at the break after quickfire tries from Sam Wood and Mikey Lewis drew the Robins back to 14-14.
Longstaff’s double after the restart put his side in the ascendancy, but the sin-binning of Brad Fash for a crusher tackle opened the door for Rovers to work their way back into the contest on the back of Lewis completing his hat-trick.
- Sunday’s other results: Huddersfield 30-18 Salford | Catalans 10-36 Warrington
- Magic Weekend Day 2 as it happened
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Another new boy in Josh Simm got Hull FC back in front, but there was still more drama to come as Minchella went over under the posts only to be deemed to have lost control of the ball by the video referee, much to the dismay of Rovers, with Luke Gale’s late penalty sealing the win.
Story of the game
Hull KR had taken the derby honours at Sewell Group Craven Park on Good Friday but arrived in Newcastle after a week which had seen outgoing head coach Tony Smith stood down for the rest of the season following a run of seven defeats in eight games and assistant Danny McGuire placed in interim charge.
Their opponents from the west of the city were aiming to arrest a run of four straight losses too and in what was a typically close-fought start to the contest, Hull FC took the lead with returning captain Gale kicking a sixth-minute penalty – the first of seven successful attempts at goal in the game.
It was Rovers who got the first try of the contest three minutes later, though, after they attacked from a scrum, with Albert Vete offloading for Matt Parcell to take the ball and finish for an unconverted score.
Hull KR were without eight players for Danny McGuire’s first match in charge following Tony Smith’s departure, with teenage academy props Connor Moore and Zach Fishwick on the interchange bench.
Hull FC were missing 12 players for this match due injury or suspension, but were able to welcome Luke Gale back into the side. Loan signings Jack Walker, Josh Simm and Ellis Longstaff all made debuts too.
Amazingly, they then had three possible tries chalked off by eagle-eyed referee Chris Kendall – two for forward passes and another for an obstruction. Then, to make matters worse for Hull KR, Wynne hit back for Hull FC by using his strength to force his way over for a 27th-minute try.
Seven minutes later, the Black and Whites were in again as some neat interplay between Joe Lovodua and Jordan Lane led to the latter sending the former over as they seemed to be taking control of the contest.
Back came the Robins before the break, however, with two tries in the space of three minutes to even things up. The first came when Lachlan Coote sent Sam Wood over for a converted try and the second came on the stroke of half-time as Lewis dived on a kick through from Parcell for his first.
The failure of Coote, who only kicked two of six conversion attempts, to add the extras left the match delicately poised at the break, but it swung back in the favour of Hull FC within two minutes of the restart as the loan trio of Jack Walker, Simm and Longstaff combined for the latter to score.
Hull Kingston Rovers: Tries – Mikey Lewis (3), Matt Parcell, Sam Wood, Jimmy Keinhorst; Goals – Lachlan Coote (2).
Hull FC: Tries – Ellis Longstaff (2), Connor Wynne, Joe Lovodua, Josh Simm; Goals – Luke Gale (7).
A superb kick from Gale then set Longstaff up for his second of the match in the 45th minute, yet back came Rovers as Jimmy Keinhorst forced his way over from close range, twisting his way out of a tackle to get the ball down for an unconverted score.
The yellow card for Fash in the 55th minute saw Hull KR make the most of their temporary numerical advantage as Lewis jinked his way through to score one minute later and then finished in a similar manner in the 63rd minute to complete his haul and put Rovers ahead.
But when Fash returned to the field, Hull FC roared back and a superb pass from Darnell McIntosh found Simm out wide to finish on 68 minutes.
Then came the moment which the match potentially turned on for the red half of the city as Minchella took an offload from Shaun Kenny-Dowall and dived over under the posts, only to be deemed to have lost control of the ball in a tackle while trying to ground it by the video referee.
The Robins were left stunned in disbelief and then when Keinhorst conceded a penalty for a high tackle, it gave Gale the opportunity to kick his second penalty of the match and secure a win which brought this year’s Magic Weekend to a pulsating close.
What they said
Hull Kingston Rovers interim head coach Danny McGuire
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Hull KR interim head coach Danny McGuire says his players ‘did the badge proud’ despite being narrowly defeated by their rivals Hull FC.
“I thought we tried really hard there. I asked the lads for bucketloads of effort, energy and enthusiasm, and I thought they showed that.”
Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson
“That was tough, but I was really proud of the effort. There is a lot of adversity in our club at the moment, but the boys stood up tonight and I was really proud of them.”
Hull FC travel to Wigan Warriors next Friday (8pm), while Hull KR are back on home turf against Wakefield Trinity on the Sunday (3pm).