London Broncos 12-14 Hull FC

Richard Whiting
Richard Whiting

London Broncos (6) 12

Tries:
Dixon, Robertson
Goals:
Witt, Rodney

Hull FC (6) 14

Tries:
Crooks, Whiting
Goals:
Tickle 3

Tries from Ben Crooks and Richard Whiting gave Hull FC victory in a scrappy game against London Broncos at Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium.

London took the lead when pacy young winger Kieran Dixon scored his first try for the club.

The Black and Whites went in level after teenager Crooks crossed.

Whiting burst clear to put Hull ahead but Broncos winger Michael Robertson touched down a kick ahead to ensure an exciting finale to the match.

The win helps the Black and Whites maintain their play-off push while the Broncos continue to struggle at the wrong end of the table after losing a match they could easily have won.

The hosts were missing Matt Cook, who picked up a knock in the Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat at Huddersfield last weekend.

The Broncos mixed things up by moving Dan Sarginson to stand-off with Michael Witt switching to hooker and Omari Caro starting on the wing.

There was better injury news for the visitors, with both Joe Westerman (shoulder) and Richard Horne (groin) returning among the replacements.

The Broncos started the game on the front foot, with repeated sets in the Hull half finally seeing Dixon speed in at the corner inside the first 10 minutes.

The visitors were producing a sloppy display full of handling errors but, with the hosts failing to cash in their ascendancy, Hull struck back midway through the half with a try from Crooks after good work from Willie Manu.

The mistakes continued after the interval, with a series of mistakes preventing Hull establishing any momentum. But it was Manu again who made the difference, showing great strength to move the visitors to the line before Whiting applied the finishing touch.

Hull nudged further ahead when Danny Tickle kicked a penalty after Shane Rodney transgressed, but the Broncos came straight back when Robertson touched down after Craig Gower's kick confused the Hull defence.

The Londoners continued to press, but were unable to find a decisive score.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Hull coach Peter Gentle:

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It was an ugly victory - Gentle

"I'm pleased we got the win but there is not a lot else to be pleased about.

"London had a real dig today, but our kicking was poor and we forced too many passes. It was ruck and rumble for most of the contest and we gifted them far too many opportunities.

"We need to be a lot better. We have aspirations to be a top four side, but we have to improve on what we showed today."

London Broncos coach Rob Powell:

"We defended really strongly today. I thought our energy levels were good and it was a bit of an arm wrestle.

"We were looking for a reaction and the players gave it a go. I know the fans want to see us trying different things and I really thought we did that today.

"Now we need to show this type of form more consistently."

SUNDAY'S LINE-UPS

London Broncos: Robertson; Dixon, Channing, O'Callaghan, Caro; Sarginson, Gower; Wheeldon, Witt, Clubb, Melling, Rodney, Bailey.

Replacements: Kaufusi, Bryant, Randall, B Bolger.

Hull: Russell; Sharp, Turner, Crooks, T Briscoe; Whiting, Seymour; Moa, Houghton, Lynch, Manu, Tickle, Pitts.

Replacements: O'Carroll, Aspinwall, Westerman, Horne.

Attendance: 3,930.

Referee: Thierry Alibert (France).

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