Hull 22 Fylde RFC 14: Feisty clash goes the home side's way

Fylde returned across the M62 with nothing to show for their toils as they succumbed to defeat at the hands of third-placed Hull.

Sunday, 12th December 2021, 4:45 pm

A match which saw Fylde with the best points record and Hull boasting the league’s most miserly defence was always going to be a clash of styles.

The challenge was who could impose their game on the other and Hull managed to execute their plans much more effectively.

Their success was built on a huge and experienced pack, particularly in the front row.

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This resulted in a much higher penalty count, particularly at the scrum, as well as a possession bias that Fylde could not overcome.

They also conceded 18 penalties, 10 of which were scrum offences and led to two yellow cards in the front row.

Although their efforts could not be faulted, Fylde were unable to produce an accurate enough display to create enough good possession or tryscoring moments.

Hull kicked off and immediately camped in Fylde’s 22, dominating possession with penalties following a high tackle and offside.

Fylde stood firm until the seventh minute when quick ball from their own scrum allowed Hull’s winger Michael Adlard space to score in the corner for an early 5-0 lead.

Apart from the scrum, Fylde defended stoutly and steadfastly and dealt very well with the Hull lineout, stealing a good share of the home side’s throw.

With their scrum posing a problem and possession in short supply, Fylde’s willingness to run the ball from anywhere helped them take the lead in the 23rd minute.

A loose pass near their own line put them under pressure for a moment but Tom Carleton retrieved the bobbling ball and took it forward, up to the 22.

He offloaded to Tom Forster, who was the victim of a high tackle, but given the advantage, Greg Smith’s crossfield kick was gathered by Tom Grimes.

He offloaded to Ben Gregory, who then found Marcus Blake for a try, converted by Smith to make it 7-5.

However, Fylde knocked on in attempting to gather the restart and handed possession back to Hull.

A kick to touch gave them a lineout, followed by a catch and drive to defend, and though Fylde repelled three forward drives, Ben Boothman barged over for another unconverted try and Hull were back in front at 10-7.

Fylde responded with Corey Bowker held up over the line after Carleton and Scott Rawlings had taken play into the Hull 22, meaning the home side held a three-point lead at the break.

A much better start to the second half followed for Fylde, who were denied a try after a lineout close to the Hull line.

It was only a temporary reprieve as Fylde fashioned a neat and incisive move from 30 yards out, Henry Hadfield offloading to the supporting Grimes for another try, Smith’s conversion making it 14-10 in their favour.

Nevertheless, Fylde again knocked on from the restart with a subsequent scrum, penalty and kick to the corner.

The catch and drive was repelled again but another collapsed scrum meant Matt Ashcroft was given the day’s first yellow card.

Having forced a goalline drop out, Hull retook the lead when Simon Humberstone’s deft chip to the corner bounced in their favour and Stephen Johnson squeezed in at the corner to make it 15-14.

Fylde responded, winning ball from the Hull lineout, with Charlie Partington’s strong carry earning a penalty which Smith sent narrowly wide.

To make matters worse, Fylde knocked on from the drop out and gave away a penalty, leading to two further scrum penalties.

The referee’s patience ran out again in the 67th minute, this time showing the yellow card to Joe Higgins.

Another Hull scrum close to the Fylde line collapsed but, with the referee playing advantage, the hosts recycled the ball a couple of times and Tipiloma Kivalu crashed over.

Humberstone landed his first conversion to put Hull two scores clear with only nine minutes remaining.

Fylde’s search for a losing bonus point was aided when Hull’s Liam Regardsoe was yellow-carded on 73 minutes.

Carleton’s midfield break and Grimes’ chip and chase were snuffed out by Hull, who penned back Fylde on their own line late on.

Fylde tried to run the ball from their own line and were prevented by a high tackle from Kivalu, triggering a dust-up which brought yellow cards for the Hull man and Hadfield.

What should have been Fylde’s penalty was reversed for the afters, and with time up, Hull tapped the penalty, kicked to touch and brought a fierce clash to an end.

Hull: Dean (McColl), Adlard, Trueman, Johnson, Naylor, Humberstone, Crane, Kivalu (Beech), Thomson, Jobling (Boothman/Dias), Jones, Regardsoe, O’Donnell (Cullen), Harding, Cowen.

Fylde: Forster, Grimes, Carleton, Rawlings (Turner), Hadfield, Smith, Sturgess, Higgins (Ashcroft), Gregory (captain), Bowker (Parker), Parkinson, Garrod (Bentley), Blake, Partington, Fairbrother. Non-playing replacement: Lanigan.

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