Super League: Hull FC 44-0 Catalans Dragons
|Hull FC (22) 44|
|Tries: Hadley, Fonua 2, Minichiello, Talanoa, Sneyd, Pritchard Goals: Sneyd 8|
|Catalans Dragons (0) 0|
Hull FC booked their place in Super League's play-off semi-finals with a 44-0 thrashing of Catalans Dragons.
The league leaders dominated the first half and tries from Dean Hadley, Mahe Fonua and Mark Minichiello helped them to a 22-0 half-time lead.
Fetuli Talanoa crossed and Fonua scored a second before Marc Sneyd added a try to his eight goals.
Frank Pritchard grabbed a late seventh try as Hull opened up a three-point lead over second-placed Warrington.
Hull's victory took them 10 points clear of fifth-placed Catalans with four games left and further dented the Dragons' own hopes of finishing in the top four.
The French side remain four points behind St Helens, who have a game in hand, and still have Warrington and third-placed Wigan to play.
But the Dragons were second best from the start as they twice failed to deal with Sneyd kicks to present Hadley and Fonua with simple scores, before Minichiello capped a fine team move with Hull's third try.
Talanoa took advantage of Catalans' Jordan Sigismeau knocking on in contact to score unopposed before Fonua ran in from deep inside his own half after intercepting Eloi Pelissier's pass.
Fonua set up Sneyd for his try and Pritchard powered his way over as Hull, who beat Widnes 38-0 last week, warmed up in style for next Saturday's Challenge Cup final against Warrington by completing successive Super League shut-outs for the first time.
Hull FC coach Lee Radford told BBC Radio Humberside:
"I'm really pleased with the 'zero'. Our try-line defence probably continued from where it left off last week and that's a credit to the group that took the field.
"Our aim at the beginning of the year was to show some improvement from last season when within a week of making the top eight we couldn't make the top four, which was soul destroying as a playing group and a coaching staff.
"We've performed consistently well all season and in patches we've looked really, really good. In the last fortnight we've looked really good."
Catalans Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous:
"It's an embarrassing scoreline, to lose by 44 points. There was a big gap between the two teams tonight, and it's out of our control at the moment.
"The fact we've got so many injuries is making it hard for us to be in the top four over the next few weeks, but you never know."
Hull: Shaul, Michaels, Fonua, Yeaman, Talanoa, Tuimavave, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Bowden, Minichiello, Hadley, Washbrook.
Replacements: Abdull, Green, Thompson, Pritchard.
Catalans Dragons: Escare, Yaha, Garcia, Duport, Sigismeau, Gigot, Albert, Baitieri, Stewart, Taylor, Bousquet, Aiton, Casty.
Replacements: Pelissier, Mounis, Elima, Navarrete.
Referee: Phil Bentham (RFL)