Super League: Hull FC 14-10 Huddersfield Giants
|Betfred Super League|
|Hull FC (12) 14|
|Tries: Minichiello, Bowden Goals: Sneyd 3|
|Huddersfield (10) 10|
|Tries: McIntosh, McGillvary Goal: Brough|
Hull FC moved up to third in Super League with a win over Huddersfield in a match between two sides assured of a Super 8s spot.
Hull held a 12-0 lead in the first half after Mark Minichiello crossed and Gareth Ellis, playing his first match since April, set up Josh Bowden.
Darnell McIntosh and Jermaine McGillvary replied, but Danny Brough missed the second conversion attempt.
Marc Sneyd kicked the only points of a tight second half as Hull held on.
Had host Hull lost, leaders Castleford would have qualified for the semi-finals without playing a match in the Super 8s with victory at Catalans Dragons on Saturday.
After Minichiello got in behind the visiting defence, Ellis showed Hull fans what they had been missing during his three-month absence with a sternum injury as his footwork created the space for Bowden to score.
Sneyd hit both of his conversions, something which Brough could not replicate, and it proved costly as no points were scored in the second period until the 75th-minute, when Sneyd opted to kick a penalty rather than run it as Hull moved a point above Wakefield Trinity, who host St Helens on Sunday.
Hull FC coach Lee Radford:
"It wasn't pretty but it was really intense. We've achieved our goal of making the top four after 23 rounds.
"How we started the game was what we want to take into next week. We had to play for 80 minutes and ultimately we strangled them in terms of possession.
"Our front-line defence was much better and that's what we asked for."
Huddersfield coach Rick Stone:
"The effort was okay and we had courage. But we made too many errors and completed at 63% overall.
"We looked tired and it showed in our execution. As poor as we were in execution, we have to give credit to Hull.
"They are a proud team and were back at home after a month of playing away from home. If we want to beat a team of this quality, we have to execute better.
"Our kicking was poor and they were more selective throughout the whole game. We got our fair share in the second half, but it became a real arm wrestle.
"We had a few chances and they had a few chances but defences were on top in the second half with no tries scored."
Hull: Shaul, Fonua, Griffin, Tuimavave, Talanoa, Connor, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Watts, Minichiello, Manu, Ellis.
Replacements: Green, Washbrook, Bowden, Fash.
Huddersfield: Rankin, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Gaskell, McIntosh, Brough, Ridyard, Rapira, Leeming, Ikahihifo, Roberts, Ferguson, Hinchcliffe.
Replacements: Wakeman, Ta'ai, Clough, O'Brien.
Referee: Chris Kendall