Smith sparkles as Rhinos pay for indiscipline

Hull FC 38 Leeds Rhinos 6
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The Independent Online

Leeds lost their unbeaten record of competitive games in the new season and lost their heads as well as they were dismantled on their last visit to the Boulevard. The Rhinos were already a beaten side by the time they had their hooker, Matt Giskin, sent off before the hour mark for a horrible late, high challenge on Jason Smith.

It was too late in another sense as well, because Smith had been largely responsible for setting up what was already a match winning league. Any hopes Leeds had of getting back into the game disappeared early in the second half when Smith again exploited the slow defence to take the corner.

Again Calderwood failed to deal with it and Sean Ryan snapped up his second try. That took the sting out of the one scored by Marcus St Hilaire from a Sinfield break soon after.

That was only a brief interlude for Leeds. After Giskin was rightly sent off, further tries followed from Richard Horne and Gareth Raynor with Crowther taking his total of goals to seven from eight attempts. Leeds will have no fond memories of a stadium that Hull are to leave at the end of this season, but this was not a performance to bring them any joy on any ground, least of all one where they have lost so frequently.

Leeds missed their half-back, Ben Walker and Ryan Sheridan leaving Hull's combination of Smith and Paul Cooke free to put the hosts firmly in control in the first half.

Smith showed his familiar knack of seeming to have more time and space than anyone on the pitch to set up the first try, dummying left then passing right to send Cooke side-stepping through a ragged and hesitant defence.

Andy Hay was the Leeds hero against London last weekend with four tries, but he experienced the other end of the spectrum when he knocked on deep in his own half and then failed to drop onto the loose ball. Cooke was far more alert, scooping up the spoils and strolling over for his second try.

Hull's solid defence frustrated everything that an off-colour Leeds tried to do to get back into the game and, as half-time approached Ryan capitalised on the visitors' mistakes to keep Hull in complete command.

Hull: Horne; Raynor, Mackay, Kohe-Love, Crowther; Cooke, J Smith; Greenhill, Jackson, King, Maher, Ryan, Chester. Substitutes: Carvell, Logan, Bird, Craven.

Leeds: Cummins; St Hilaire, Walker, Senior, Calderwood; Sinfield, Burrow; Fleary, Viskan, McDermott, Hay, Adamson, Vowles. Substitutes: Pratt, Poching, McDonald, Jones-Buchanan.

Referee: I Smith of Oldham.

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