Challenge Cup: Hull FC 6-24 Leeds Rhinos

By Phil HarlowBBC Sport
Kallum Watkins
Kallum Watkins' try gave Hull FC an uphill task to get back into the match
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup
Hull FC (0) 6
Try: Abdull Goal: Rankin
Leeds Rhinos (10) 24
Tries: Moon, Watkins, Hardaker Goals: Sinfield 6

Holders Leeds made sure of their place in the last four of the Challenge Cup with a comfortable win over a brave but wasteful Hull FC.

Kevin Sinfield's boot and a Joel Moon try gave them a 10-0 half-time lead.

Kallum Watkins' try early in the second half stretched the Rhinos' lead but four try chances came and went as Hull's attacking play went unrewarded.

Zak Hardaker's 70th-minute score sealed the win, before a late consolation from Hull teenager Jordan Abdull.

Sinfield ended with 12 points after a typically assured goal-kicking display, but it was his tactical acumen which really made the difference for the Rhinos.

The veteran stand-off, who will leave the club to play rugby union at the end of the season, provided a masterclass of how to play in wet conditions as he teamed up with Rob Burrow at half-back.

Leon Pryce is tackled
Hull FC struggled to find a way through the Rhinos defence

The 34-year-old chose to take any points on offer with long-range penalties, and it proved an astute decision with the game's first try not coming until late in the first half when Moon outjumped Jordan Rankin to regather his own kick and score.

Leeds struck again shortly after the break as Ryan Hall switched the play before linking up with Sinfield, who provided a lovely inside pass for Watkins to cross.

Hull continued to battle, despite being 16-0 down, and came agonisingly close with Joe Westerman twice guilty of knocking on as the tryline beckoned, a mistake repeated by captain Gareth Ellis.

But the match was over as a contest when full-back Hardaker danced his way over - after more superb work from Burrow and Sinfield in the build-up - for a third Rhinos try.

Hull scrum-half Abdull showed excellent running ability to dummy his way over late on to ensure his side had something to show for their considerable efforts, but it is Leeds who march on to the last four.

Hull coach Lee Radford: "I'd like to apologise to the supporters. I'm unbelievably frustrated that we weren't good enough.

"Every time we gave ourselves an opportunity to get some reward we handed it back to them.

"For whatever reason on the big stage we haven't been able to execute. We've got to try and physically and mentally recharge now - and learn to catch a football."

Leeds head coach Brian McDermott: "I have always said he'll (Sinfield) have a significant part to play this year. It's always been a case of rotation and squad management.

"Kevin and Rob [Burrow] managed that game really well. It came down to management of the weather.

"It was always going to be about points on the board. Fortunately we got a try early and they were in chase mode.

"I don't think we were perfect in the second half, I actually think Hull kicked better than us.

"But you've got to defend your tryline which we did and I thought Stevie Ward was again magnificent."

Hull FC: Rankin; Lineham, Michaels, Yeaman, Talanoa; Pryce, Abdull; Watts, Houghton, Paea, Ellis, Minichiello, Westerman.

Replacements: Paleaaesina, Bowden, Thompson, Whiting.

Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker; Handley, Watkins, Moon, Hall; Sinfield, Burrow; Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, S Ward, Keinhorst, Ablett.

Replacements: Singleton, R Ward, Yates, Delaney.

Att: 9,261

Top Stories