Hull hold off spirited strugglers

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The Independent Online

Hull recorded their second consecutive victory with a 40-24 home success over the bottom side Huddersfield/Sheffield yesterday, but the visitors turned in a tenacious second-half performance, which will have restored some confidence after their 60-2 mauling by Bradford Bulls the previous weekend.

In the opening 46 minutes, however, Hull cruised into a 24-6 lead with half-backs Richard Horne and Will Robinson repeatedly creating openings.

David Maiden got the ball rolling with a superb try off Horne, then Robinson added a second before Brian Carney scored after a fine 40-metre run.

Craig Simon scored the first of his two just after the break, but the arrival of Huddersfield half-back Chris Thorman as a second-half substitute changed the game and Gavin Clinch and Thorman both went in for the visitors to cut the deficit.

The London Broncos captain, Karle Hammond, was sent off as his side crashed 24-33 to Salford at The Valley. Hammond was dismissed for foul and abusive language 12 minutes from time. Hammond should have been on his way to the sin-bin when he continued his altercation with the Warrington official and was immediately sent off.

The Broncos had made a perfect start when Hammond and Andrew Wynyard combined to set up Tulsen Tollett. Brett Warton kicked the goal and then added a further penalty after nine minutes to give his side an eight-point lead.

The Reds turned the game on its head with two tries inside 60 seconds after 24 minutes, Jason Smith going over for the first and then Martin Crompton scoring after the ball had been worked forward straight from the kick-off.

The Broncos soon responded when Greg Fleming beat off Gary Broadbent to touch down from Dean Callaway's pass. A goal from Warton then looked to have given the home side the half-time lead before Darren Brown crossed over for Salford in the dying moments. Fleming restored London's lead four minutes after the turnaround before Brown's try swung the game back in the Reds' favour.

Hammond's sending off, however, turned the game, Brown maintaining his 100 per cent record with the boot to open up a six-point lead. Martin Offiah then touched down in the 75th minute from Crompton's pass and Crompton added a drop goal before Andy Johnson grabbed a last-minute consolation for the Broncos.

Wakefield secured their first home win of the campaign when a dramatic late try by Willie Poching, converted by Steve McNamara, gave them a 28-24 victory over Warrington.