Super League: Hull FC 38-12 Huddersfield Giants
|Betfred Super League|
|Hull FC (10) 38|
|Tries: Talanoa 3, Kelly, Connor, Shaul Goals: Sneyd 7|
|Huddersfield (12) 12|
|Tries: Hinchcliffe, Ta'ai Goals: Brough 2|
Fetuli Talanoa scored a hat-trick as Hull FC put on a second-half masterclass to overpower Huddersfield and make a winning Super League start.
Huddersfield led 12-4 after Ryan Hinchcliffe and Ukuma Ta'ai tries but Albert Kelly's score before the half-time hooter began the comeback.
Talanoa touched down three times in 18 minutes as Hull took control after the break and scored 28 unanswered points.
Jake Connor and Jamie Shaul scored further tries for the Black and Whites.
Marc Sneyd added 14 points from the tee in an expert display of goal-kicking, while his kicking game in open play also proved pivotal to Hull's fightback.
On a bitterly cold night, the execution levels were admirable given this was a season opener and it was a big statement by Hull, who having won back-to-back Challenge Cups are now targeting the Grand Final, even at this early stage.
Huddersfield were without their star winger Jermaine McGillvary, given further time to recover from his knee injury, but even his presence would have struggled to quell Hull in their second-half rhythm.
Giants had a purple patch in the first 40, but struggled with the intensity after the break and with the score blown out they also lost big prop Seb Ikahihifo to an injury late on.
Hull FC coach Lee Radford told BBC Radio Humberside:
"We wanted to start with a win and we got that in comprehensive fashion.
"Huddersfield are a tough side and I'm pretty sure they will be there or thereabouts this year.
"We came out of the blocks really quickly for the first 14 minutes but then we kept giving them the ball back and we were on our try line for a while.
"We spoke at half-time about being a little more patient and clinical at their end of the field and we showed that in the second half."
Huddersfield coach Rick Stone told BBC Radio Leeds:
"We competed really well in the first half and controlled our share of the ball. Once we got into our groove it was a pretty good contest.
"I was disappointed they scored a try right on half-time but after that we handed Hull plenty of opportunities and camped ourselves in our own half.
"The way we competed in the first half wasn't reflective of the second-half scoreline, but that's what happens in Super League - you've got to play well, you've got to execute and good teams will put you away pretty hard. That's what happened tonight."
Hull FC: Shaul, Faraimo, Connor, Griffin, Talanoa, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Paea, Manu, Minichiello, Hadley.
Subs: Bowden, Matongo, Abdull, Turgut.
Huddersfield: Mamo, McIntosh, Gaskell, Turner, Murphy, Rankin, Brough, Walne, O'Brien, Ta'ai, Roberts, Lawrence, Hinchcliffe.
Subs: Ikahihifo, Leeming, Clough, Smith.