North Division One
Hull 25-12 Beverley
16 September 2006
Hull won the first league game between these two clubs for four years by virtue of a strong second-half display after a scrappy first half saw them turn around with a narrow 6-5 lead.
Hull coach Terry Garnett was justifiably happy with the result. He said; “It is always nice to win a derby but I was not happy with the first-half display and gave the lads a dressing down at the break.
“I thought Beverley had the better first half and we gave away too many penalties. In the second half the side came out and produced the goods and we retained the ball well.
“Elisi Vunupola kicked the corners well and although we still have a lot of work to do, this win is a step in the right direction and the spirit in the club is sky-high”.
Hull took the lead in the first minute when Guy Martinson landed a good penalty goal with a straight kick from 37 yards after Beverley had infringed at a ruck. Two minutes later Chris Kendra was off-side at a scrum but Antony Posa put his 35-yard attempt wide of the posts. Posa was testing the Hull defence with some of his trade-mark high kicks and one of these caused John Wilson to have to save Hull’s line at the expense of a 5-metre scrum. Beverley maintained the pressure with two more scrums and were denied claims for a push-over try, but Hull eventually cleared with a good kick from Kendra.
Hull went further ahead in the 25th minute when Martinson landed another penalty goal from 25 yards to make it 6-0 to Hull. There was little to pick between the two sides at this stage but one minute later Hull’s hooker Jean-Pierre Pretorius was sin-binned for handling on the ground.
In the 34th minute following some good pressure the Beavers number eight Sean Cross made a break and the ball was worked right for scrum-half Chris Infield to score eight yards from the corner. Once again, Posa was well wide with the conversion attempt and then in the next minute Martinson was penalised for not releasing but new kicker Fraley Hoppa did no better from 30 yards.
Beverley had looked slightly the better side in the first half but Hull coach Terry Garnett read the riot act to his side and an improvement was soon evident, although the early pressure came from Beverley. Some fine field kicking from Hull fly-half Vunupola, which was to become a feature of the second half, began to keep the Beavers on the back foot and Hull were beginning to look the better side.
Posa was still putting in some towering kicks but apart from the first half incident the Hull backs were responding very well to these tactics. Hull were denied a pushover try in the 47th minute but in the 54th minute, with the visitors under heavy pressure, a break from Richard Mackay was stopped near the line and some slick rucking saw Kendra and Vunupola move the ball right where Leroy McKenzie hit the line to score near the posts leaving Alex Piercy an easy conversion.
Hull maintained the pressure and three minutes later they were in again. They had almost succeeded with a pushover try but the ball was then moved left for Vunupola to provide the pass for Maea David to score beneath the posts. Both linesmen signalled the conversion but the referee judged the kick to have gone wide. At 18-5 Hull were in full control and with Beverley constantly being driven back by Vunupola’s fine kicking to the corners, they rarely got into the Hull half.
Hull made certain of the match in the 76th minute when the move of the game saw some superb handling involving all of the inside backs. The ball was moved from the right wing to the left where Dan Martinson provided the final pass for McKenzie to beat two defenders before going round to score five yards from the posts. Piercy converted and Hull’s lead had stretched to 25-5.
The final word went to Beverley with a try in added time when Sean Cross broke from a mid-field ruck to race 35 yards before putting in the supporting Guy Hope beneath the posts. Hope converted the try to end a thrilling derby match.
The Hull side that day was: Guy Martinson, John Wilson, Dan Martinson, Maea David, Alex Piercy, Elisi Vunupola, Chris Kendra, Tani Ha’unga, Jean-Pierre Pretorius, Chad May, Chris Murphy, Peter Andrews, Darren Wigg, Gareth Jackson and Richard Mackay. Subs; Mark Holden, Leroy Mckenzie and Brad Hepi.
Report by Norman Angell