Hull slip as Harris dances in the rain

Hull 6 Leeds 15
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The Independent Online

Leeds moved above Hull in Super League's top five as a team lacking seven regulars and beset by rumours of Iestyn Harris's imminent departure turned the game around after looking like being submerged in the first half. Harris kept his nerve for the vital kicks to remind Leeds that he does not always have to be dazzling with the ball in his hands to win games for them.

As was to be expected in the midst of a North Sea deluge, plenty of ball was dropped in the early stages, notably by Adam Maher when Jason Smith threatened to put him through.

Gareth Raynor, the young winger who could not get a game at Leeds, thought he had scored against his old club when he chased Smith's kick for the corner, but Francis Cummins just got there first.

With Smith calling the shots and Leeds conceding too many penalties, the pressure all came from Hull with only the weather frustrating them. The conditions also helped Hull take the lead, however, Cummins dropping Jason Smith's high kick to concede the scrum on Leeds' 10-metre line. There were no climatic excuses, though, for the way they opened up for Tony Smith, with nobody getting close to him as he nipped in for the simplest of tries.

Leeds had the slight look of a team who were not quite sure they wanted to be out on such an unpleasant night, with their only forays deep into Hull territory coming from some fairly innocuous kicks from Iestyn Harris ­ greeted with chants of "Iestyn's going to Cardiff''. When he did show that his mind was still with the Rhinos by making his first penetrative break, Jason Smith running him down.

Leeds had another nasty moment when Cummins knocked on at the play-the-ball, but they managed to survive the assault and Tony Smith's scuffed drop goal attempt. After a first half in which they had shown so little, the visitors could be relieved to be only six points in arrears.

Leeds reduced that margin by a single point at the start of the second-half when Danny Ward came up with an unexpected drop goal. They came close to a try when Cummins slid over but lost control of the ball. They finally took the lead when Kevin Sinfield kicked to the corner, Mark Calderwood beat Chris Smith to the ball and Harris landed the goal.

Seven minutes from time a high tackle on Jason Netherton gave Harris a 45-metre penalty. Two minutes later, Cummins sent Keith Senior away and the escape was complete.

Hull: Prescott; C Smith, Bird, Campbell, Raynor; Horne, T Smith; Broadbent, King, Craven, Maher, Grimaldi, J Smith. Substitutes used: Jackson, Logan, Maiden, Yeaman.

Leeds: Cummins; Walker, Carroll, Senior, St Hilaire; Harris; Berrow, Dowes, Mears, McDermott, Hay, Wrench, Sinfield. Substitutes used: Calderwood, Ward, Dixon, Methertan.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).

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