Horne's flair floors resilient Huddersfield

Hull 36 Huddersfield 16
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Hull consolidated their fourth place in the Tetley's Super League with this important victory over the relegation-haunted Huddersfield Giants at the Boulevard, with 19-year-old scrum-half Richard Horne hugely influential with a try and a hand in three others.

Despite lacking five senior players through injury, Hull had too much firepower and Horne, switching from centre to deputise for Tony Smith, again served notice of his exceptional talent, although this was hardly one of his side's vintage displays.

Hull had taken a fourth-minute lead when Horne's fine short ball created an opening for skipper Tony Grimaldi, who stepped inside Paul Reilly's challenge for a converted try. The visitors drew level when former Hull favourite, Steve McNamara, set up Reilly to send PNG international Stanley Gene, ironically on loan from Hull, over for a try that McNamara converted.

McNamara then spilled the ball in a promising position before Horne regained the lead for the home side with a virtuoso 40-metre counter-attacking effort.

Huddersfield competed spiritedly on a hot afternoon but conceded two tries either side of the interval after their Australian winger, Andrew Frew, was sin-binned for holding down after making a fine cover tackle on Steve Prescott. Horne took advantage of the extra man advantage, chipping through for the Australian prop, Luke Felsch, to score and Logan Campbell went over three minutes after the re-start with Horne sparking a classy handling move. Deon Bird then collected Jason Smith's kick to score Hull's fifth try.

The Giants fought back when Ben Kusto scored a reviving try that skipper Brandon Costin converted. Gene then went over for his second, 11 minutes from time, but Costin, crucially, missed a conversion that would have reduced the arrears to just six points.

Hull duly secured the win that takes them to within a point of the defending champions, St Helens, when Jason Smith's break created a try for Richard Fletcher six minutes from the end before Paul Cooke went over with Matt Crowther taking his tally to four goals.

"I was delighted with the two points and satisfied with the end result but we made a lot of errors in a scrappy game," said the Hull coach, Shaun McRae. "Horne did particularly well for us and Scott Logan played strongly in the forwards." The Giants coach, Tony Smith, reflected: "The crucial sin-binning of Frew is something we are getting used to. We actually train now with 12 players. My boys are going to win some games before we finish and it is not all doom and gloom."

Hull: Prescott; Raynor, Campbell, Bird, Crowther; Cooke, Horne; Craven, King, Logan, Maiden, Grimaldi (capt), J Smith. Substitutes used: Felsch, Carvell, Poucher, Fletcher.

Huddersfield Giants: Reilly; Frew, Gleeson, Gene, Langley; Costin (capt), Kusto; Marshall, Rowley, Stone, Lomax, Atkins, McNamara. Substitutes used: Moana, Slicker, Molloy, Walker.

Referee: R Smith (Castleford).