Hull RUFC 63 – Westoe 8
Saturday September 20, 2008
Hull could not have scripted their opening match on the Ferens Ground any better even if they had written it themselves.
Fresh from their opening 64-7 win at West Park St. Helens the previous week and in front of a big crowd in blazing sunshine they provided a feast of champagne rugby, including a new club record of five tries from flying Tongan winger Mateo Malupo, to make it a day to remember.
Hull had closed the gates at their old Haworth Park last season with a home game against Westoe which they won 27-25 and another very close game was expected against their old rivals from Tyneside.
Westoe, third in the table for the third time in succession at the end of last season and with some talented new signings must have fancied their chances in what are usually very tight games between the two clubs.
The Tynesiders went straight on to the attack right from the off and took a fifth-minute lead with a penalty from their Kiwi fly-half Sam Rasch.
They kept on applying the pressure but Hull weathered the storm and nosed ahead on 16 minutes when centre Maea David became the first try-scorer on the new ground with James Cameron adding the conversion.
On 23 minutes David turned provider when he combined with Tevita Vaikona to send in centre Alex Piercy with Cameron once again converting.
Rasch closed the gap with a try and conversion on 34 minutes and Hull led 14-8 at the break.
Then came the points storm. Inside a minute of the restart full-back Guy Martinson slid an astute kick in to the corner and Piercy touched down.
The next eight minutes saw Malupo score three tries, two of them converted by Cameron, as a combination of speed and champagne rugby ripped Westoe apart.
Skipper Chris Murphy got in on the scoring act on 55 minutes when Vaikona, who showed some breath-taking handling skills, combined with Matty White to send in the second-row man.
Malupo claimed two more tries in the 58th and 65th minutes with a Cameron penalty slotted in between the two and No 8 Rob Devonshire, who had a storming game, bagged the last try of the game when he forced his way over just before the end with Cameron converting.
Mateo Malupo said; “This is the first time I have ever scored five tries in a match.
“I am enjoying being in Hull, enjoying my football and the boys have made me very welcome”.
Second-row forward and Yorkshire skipper Dan Cook said: “We stuck it out in the first half when we were under pressure and then put it all together after the break.
“Compared to last season I think the difference is we are mentally good enough to keep on chasing the game no matter what the score is.”
By Norman Angell