Hodgson finishes Hull's hot streak

Hull FC 20 Huddersfield 34
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The Independent Online

Amid Huddersfield's array of young back-line talent, the name of David Hodgson has sometimes been overlooked this season. Now a relative veteran of 29, he left Humberside in his teens to pursue his career elsewhere and he was instrumental yesterday in ending his hometown club's unbeaten run at six games.

The England coach, Steve McNamara, who names his squad to face the Exiles on Wednesday, might have come expecting to check out the form of the wing incumbent Tom Briscoe or the most improved winger in the competition, Jermaine McGillvary.

What could really have caught his eye, however, were the finishing skills of Hodgson, who set up the first try with a stunning piece of skill and scored the next three. "Dave scored a couple of tries that showed his experience and ability to get over the line," said the Giants' coach, Nathan Brown.

McNamara could also hardly help but be impressed by Danny Brough, the leading candidate for his scrum-half role. He kicked superbly, set up a couple of tries and scored the long-range intercept that effectively ended Hull's gritty resistance.

It was Brough's pinpoint kick that created the first try for Michael Lawrence, but Hull hit back through Ewan Dowes' first try for three years.

Kevin Brown opened the way for Hodgson to squeeze just inside the corner flag, albeit with a suspiciously forward pass, and Brough added a penalty to his conversions midway through the second half.

Hull showed why they have been hard to beat of late when they fought back again through Mark O'Meley powering over at the play-the-ball.

A handling error, one of too many, allowed the Giants to remain in control, largely thanks to some lovely footwork by Hodgson.

Yet again, Hull bounced back, this time through a surging run that took Willie Manu over, but Brough's interception ended their hopes.

Brown had no complaints about the tackle from Kirk Yeaman that laid out Scott Grix in the second half. Grix was carried off, Yeaman was placed on report, but the Giants' coach was satisfied that it was part of the give and take of a highly physical match.

Hull's Richard Agar agreed. "I just thought it was a great tackle," he said. "I thought our effort was fantastic, but we made too many errors."

Hull Phelps; Sharp, Gleeson, Yeaman, Briscoe; Horne, Obst; O'Meley, Houghton, Moa, Manu, Tickle, Fitzgibbon. Substitutes used Westerman, Lauaki, Dowes, Turner.

Huddersfield Grix; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Lawrence, Hodgson; Brown, Brough; Mason, Robinson, Griffin, Kirmond, Gilmour, Faiumu. Substitutes used Fa'alogo, Patrick, Lunt, Raleigh.

Referee T Alibert (France).