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Rugby League: Loan star Murdock shines

Huddersfield 14 Hull 20

IF HULL do not retain the services of Craig Murdock when his month's loan from Wigan expires, it will surely not be for their want of trying. The Cumbrian scrum-half was their match winner against Leeds last week and last night he was the difference between two enterprising sides.

Huddersfield might be bottom of Super League, but they enjoyed rather more than their share of a richly entertaining match. The trouble was that Hull, promoted along with them to the top flight this year, were always likely, with Murdock at the helm, to make slightly more of what they have.

The home side started particularly well, their loose forward, Matt Sturm, leading the way with some ferocious running. After 10 minutes, it was his charge that set up the position for Chris Orr to allow Dean Hanger to squeeze in at the corner.

Hull kept the ball alive in breathtaking fashion for David Baildon and Mark Johnson to produce the riposte for Matt Schultz, but Huddersfield grabbed a second try before half time, Fili Seru knocking down Dave King's pass and Danny Arnold seizing on the bouncing ball.

It was a fair reflection of Huddersfield's greater thrust, but their two missed conversions meant that Graeme Hallas' successful kick left Hull only two points in arrears at the break.

Murdock and the Hull hooker, Brad Hepi, were the combination to put them back into the lead, although Arnold responded for Huddersfield with his second score.

Murdock fashioned the crucial try for David Stephenson, Hallas's conversion put Hull two points ahead, and Hepi grabbed the final points.

Huddersfield: Arnold, Hanger, King, Bunyan, Cheetham, Orr, Booth, Harmon, Russell, Field, Richards, Wittenberg, Sturm. Substitutes used: Veivers, Berry, Bowes, Weston.

Hull: Prescott, Seru, Baildon, Hallas, Johnson, Lester, Murdock, Temu, Hepi, Okesene, Schultz, Busby, Campbell. Substitues used: Stephenson, Leatham, Craven, Radford.

Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).