Rugby League: Hull's party on ice

Hull 4

Featherstone 18

Hull strode down the Boulevard to collect the First Division championship and confirm their promotion to Super League, but had their complacency punished as they were soundly beaten by opponents who were beset by relegation worries.

Outplayed and out-fought by Featherstone, Hull now face another nervous afternoon at Huddersfield next Saturday. With the honourable exception of their prop Steve Craven, they showed little appetite for the honest hard work that was required of them yesterday and deservedly suffered their first league defeat of the season, leaving a crowd of almost 8,000 bitterly frustrated.

Although Featherstone had struggled near the foot of the First Division all year, it was a case of role reversal from the start, with Hull looking the more anxious team and Rovers going about the job as though they had nothing to lose.

Featherstone were by far the more fluent side from the hooter, as was illustrated by the sweeping move that brought the first points of the match after six minutes - Paddy Handley, Danny Evans and Shaun Irwin all handling to send Darren Hughes over in the corner.

A Hull mistake was the catalyst for that try when Andy Ireland dropped the ball, and it was another error that was partly to blame for Featherstone's second try. The Hull full-back, Steve Holmes, allowed Irwin to steal the ball from him in the tackle and, when Featherstone worked their way to the other end, an educated pass from Steve Molloy - surely too good to be playing at this level - put Eddie Rombo in the clear.

Hull, consumed by tension and badly missing the strike power of the game's leading scorer, the injured Tevita Vaikona, needed a score to settle them before half-time. They got it when a break by Holmes and Kevin Gray moved to the right end of the field where Mark Hewitt and Graeme Hallas set up a simple try for Glen Liddiard.

That did not have a noticeably calming effect on them in the second half, though, with Hull still squandering possession at every opportunity and living on their nerves whenever Featherstone got near their line.

They had numerous escapes before they were finally punished when Ty Fallins sent Davy Kimmel striding away. Hull's composure was in tatters by this stage and, three minutes later, the failure of Hewitt and Holmes to tidy up a loose ball allowed Neil Lowe to kick ahead and Molloy to drive over.

The celebratory chorus of "Old Faithful" was silenced, "Old Fallible" being more appropriate. Hull knew that they would have work to do when they got into Super League, but perhaps were not aware that there was still work to do in order to get there.

For Featherstone, the mystery is how they have failed to produce a trace of this sort of form this season. On this showing, it could have been them on the verge of the big time.

Hull: Holmes; Gray, Hallas, Liddiard, Johnson; Lester, Hewitt; Craven, Donohue, Ireland, Fisher, Boyd, Schultz. Subs used: Nolan, Wilson, Jackson, Radford.

Featherstone: Strange; Hughes, Irwin, Kimmel, Rombo; Pratt, Handley; Molloy, Chapman, Powell, Price, Lowe, Evans. Subs used: Fallins, Slater, Lambert, Baker.

Referee: S Ganson (St Helens).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea