Hull undone by Senior service

Leeds 34 Hull 14
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The Independent Online

Leeds, the Super League leaders, eased their way back into winning form as Keith Senior led them to what became a comfortable victory with a hat-trick of tries. The Rhinos ran away with this match in the second half after stuttering at times in the first, but Hull never got to grips with the Great Britain centre.

Leeds, the Super League leaders, eased their way back into winning form as Keith Senior led them to what became a comfortable victory with a hat-trick of tries. The Rhinos ran away with this match in the second half after stuttering at times in the first, but Hull never got to grips with the Great Britain centre.

"He was outstanding," Senior's coach, Tony Smith, said. "He's back to his brutal best and he was almost unstoppable at times."

Two teams beaten last weekend made a nervous start and even Leeds' opening try was an untidy affair, the ball coming off Jamie Jones-Buchanan's shoulder to wrong-foot the Hull defence and allow Marcus Bai to send Senior over with what looked suspiciously like a forward pass.

Equally worrying for Hull was the way they were taken aback in defence for almost 10 minutes after that, although they missed the chance of their first points when Danny Brough failed with a penalty. That was all forgiven after 19 minutes when Garreth Carvell got a lovely pass away to Richard Horne, who sent Shaun Briscoe in for the converted try that level matters.

After an incident when Leeds reacted angrily to Paul Cooke going in late on Rob Burrow, Hull took the lead, Brough scampering through from dummy-half and finding Nathan Blacklock in support on the inside for a try to which he added his second conversion.

Paul King put Hull under pressure when he was penalised for a high shot on Burrow, but Barrie McDermott lost the ball driving for the tryline.

Leeds were level by half-time, however, Kevin Sinfield, Willie Poching and Senior paving the way for Bai to score.

Cooke put Hull back in front with a penalty early in the second half, but Leeds regained the lead when Mark Calderwood kicked behind the sticks, Blacklock failed to tidy up and Burrow swooped.

An unlikely kick from Bryan Bailey was then plucked out of the air by Senior for his second try. Gareth Ellis then made the break to set up Richie Mathers, who followed up by producing a somewhat freakish pass to give Senior his third.

Leeds: Mathers; Calderwood, Walker, Senior, Bai; Sinfield, Burrow; Bailey, Dunemann, Ward, McKenna, Jones-Buchanan, Ellis. Substitutes used: Lauitiiti, Poching, McGuire, McDermott.

Hull: Briscoe; Blacklock, Yeaman, Saxton, Raynor; Cooke, R Horne; Dowes, Brough, King, G Horne, Kearney, McMenemy. Substitutes used:Thackray, Carvell, Dixon, Washbrook.

Referee: R Silverwood (Mirfield).

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