Hull FC verdict: Sensational Jake Connor plays as Black & White issue biggest statement yet

Jake Connor turned on the style to help Hull FC find their way back to winning ways with a 31-8 victory over the Leeds Rhinos at Headingley.

Here is the verdict.


Without eight key men through injury or suspension, Brett Hodgson has been forced to make a number of changes to his 17-man squad at Headingley.

Joe Lovodua was the man chosen to replace Josh Reynolds at half-time, while Kane Evans entered the squad on his first start for the Blacks and Whites.

It was the big man who prompted the first moment of the rating as he saw the yellow just seven minutes into the game for a high shot on Jack Walker.

Leeds were unable to make the most of the power play, however, as Matt Prior joined Evans in the bin for the same offense moments later.

David Fusitu’a and Ash Handley may have come close to opening the scoring for the Rhinos on the edges, but Hull fared well under pressure from Leeds and it was the visitors who struck first through a moment of pure genius.

Receiving the ball on the final tackle, Connor formed up to kick the ball across the pitch before sliding through a huge gap in the Leeds line to land in front of the approximately 600 FC fans at Western Terrace.

Connor’s influence was growing and he notched a 10th assist of the season with some quick hands and a sumptuous cut pass to Adam Swift, which left acres of space to land in the corner.

The Black and White Army were chanting the full-back’s name and he responded with another effort in the 34th minute, this time preparing to pass the ball wide before sliding into the same hole between Blake Austin and Tom Briscoe for Hull’s third.

His talent had rocked Leeds in the first half and when the teams entered the break there was only one name on the lips of the spectators.

Leeds nearly had a perfect start to the second half as Fusitu’a darted dramatically into the corner, but the video referee wavered and Hull charged the Rhinos.

They added a fourth down as Andre Savelio latched on to a flat pass from Lovodua to hit the ground.

A fifth try came 15 minutes from time to cap off an utterly dominant performance as the stand-in stand-off got the try he deserved for another superb performance, dotting Jordan Johnstone’s grubber.

Leeds had their moments but nothing happened in the second half as Hull held firm and forced error after error from the home side.

Connor inserted the only pointer to rub salt into Leeds’ wounds before Leeds finally went through Tom Briscoe and Liam Sutcliffe

Key moment

Hull were already in charge of the game at half-time but Savelio’s try just after the break really shattered Leeds and killed any hopes of a result for the home side.

Good day for

Jake Connor. He was simply unplayable in the first half of the game as he set one up and scored twice to put Hull on their way to victory. He was quieter in the second half but still managed to get the pointer late in the game.

bad day for

Joe Cator. The striker was making his first appearance since his Achilles ruptured in August but was forced off the pitch in the second half with a worrying leg injury.

Bigger picture

Hodgson questioned his side’s attitude and mentality on Sunday after their loss to Castleford on Sunday and his team responded and more.

After just four days of recovery, Hull was dominant throughout the race and showed what he was capable of on his day.

The challenge now is to iron out the inconsistencies and back it up next Sunday against Huddersfield Giants.


Leeds Rhinoceros :Jack Walker; David Fusitu’a, Tom Briscoe, Liam Sutcliffe, Ash Handley; Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer; Mikolaj Oledzki, Corey Johnson, Matt Prior; Morgan Gannon, Rhyse Martin; Zane Tetevano

Bench: James Donaldson, Alex Mellor, Brad Dwyer, Bodene Thompson.

FC Hull: Jack Connor; Jamie Shaul, Mitieli Vulikijapani, Josh Griffin, Adam Swift; Joe Lovodua, Ben McNamara; Chris Satae, Danny Houghton, Kane Evans; Ligi Sao, Andre Savelio, Jack Brown.

Bench: Josh Bowden, Joe Cator, Brad Fash, Jordan Johnstone.



Trials: Briscoe, Sutcliffe

Goals: Martin (0/2)


Trials: Connor (2), Swift, Savelio, Lovodua

Goals: McNamara (5/6)

Drop goal: Connor