Kelly fury as Widnes are crushed by rampaging Hull

Hull 70 Widnes 4
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The Independent Online

The Widnes coach, Neil Kelly, accused his players of defrauding their supporters after the worst defeat in their 109-year history.

The Widnes coach, Neil Kelly, accused his players of defrauding their supporters after the worst defeat in their 109-year history.

Widnes were humiliated by a rampant Hull inspired by the first appearance of the season from Jason Smith and a marvellous all-round display from Richard Horne, leaving Kelly furious with his team.

"I've always been taught that the one thing you can do in rugby league is tackle,'' he said. "I've got some players who are earning good money under false pretenses. I'm not sure whether I should call the police in because it's almost fraud.

"I'm just disappointed that people have given up a lovely Bank Holiday to come here and support this team when they would have been better off going to Southport for the day.''

Hull's virtuoso display began slowly, with just one try in the first quarter. It was a good one, though, created by Paul King's superb pass to Chris Chester and the younger Richie Barnett's support on the outside.

Widnes thought they might have drawn level when Dion Bird went over against his old club from Jules O'Neill's pass, but the video reply confirmed that there was an obstruction in the build-up.

That was the signal for Hull to cut loose. Some wonderful handling at close quarters ended when Shaun Briscoe slipped the ball for Chester to step inside the cover and touch down. Then Briscoe and the excellent Horne gave Smith the chance to celebrate his return after shoulder surgery with the third Hull try.

Peter Lupton's pass sent Shayne McMenemy bursting through some dreadful Widnes tackling for their fourth and a glorious long pass from Paul Cooke, who also kicked five goals in the first half, sent young Barnett cruising in for his second before the break.

As far as the admirable Horne was concerned, the best was yet to come. The way he made something out of nothing, picking up a loose pass in his own half and weaving through half the Widnes team to set up Briscoe, was something very special.

So was the cleverly disguised kick from Cooke that sat up perfectly for Lupton. Smith, back on the field after a rest, produced an equally good kick for Briscoe to claim his second. It was getting embarrassing by the time Chester shrugged off some flimsy tackling to make it two for him as well and bring up the half-century. Horne scored his richly deserved try when he went 50 yards from a scrum, taunting Widnes with the prospect that they might catch him.

Simon Finnegan managed Widnes' only points, but Colin Best and Kirk Yeaman made sure it would be an afternoon for the visitors to remember for all the wrong reasons. "There was some exciting stuff played out there," said the Hull coach, Shaun McRae. There was certainly some thrilling handling for a near 10,000 crowd to enjoy, but nothing resembling a contest.

Hull: Briscoe; Best, Barnett Snr, Eagar, Barnett Jnr; Cooke, Horne; Dowes, Swain, King, McMenemy, Chester, Smith. Subs: Yeaman, Scruton, Lupton, Higgins.

Widnes: Bird; Royle, Moule, Hughes, Giles; Jules O'Neill; Myler, Relf, Finnigan, Julian O'Neill, Hay, Wozniak, Frame. Subs: Hobson, Mills, McCurrie, Weston.

Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington).