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Hull go nine points clear in second place with Wirral win

Hull acheived their objective of a maximum points haul in the face of a hard working Wirral side and a very heavy pitch that made open rugby difficult.

Seven yellow cards were dished out by the referee with Hull picking up three which just showed how hard it was to keep good discipline in the dire conditions.

Hull made a near perfect start to the game as they quickly secured possession and a sweeping move from their own half ended with backrow man Zak Poole going in near the posts after five minutes for a try converted by Hull’s off half Steve Johnson.
Hull then lost a lineout on their own throw and Wirral used the possession to create a penalty chance after 17 minutes which their centre Craig Harvey converted to reduce the arrears.
Johnson repaid the compliment after 20 minutes with a penalty of his own to re-establish Hull’s margin.
After 25 minutes Wirral had centre Hayden Long yellow carded and this seemed to inspire them.
Minutes later Wirral’s number eight and Hull winger Stephen Hihetah followed him onto the sidelines.
This signalled a period of all-out attack from Wirral and after several minutes of battering the Hull line their winger Matt Lune dived in from short range with Craig Harvey’s conversion seeing the sides level at 10-10 at the break.
Hull needed to raise their game and they opened the second period with real purpose but Wirral’s defence held out despite Hull’s forwards gaining the upper hand at the scrummage.
Eventually the Hull pressure told and when Wirral tried to clear their lines from their in goal area a charge down by Hull centre Ali Heard saw him touch down for a vital try converted by Steve Johnson after 56 minutes.
From the ensuing kick off Hull surged back again and when Hull winger Hihetah bounced free from a couple of tackles on the halfway line and then ran 55 yards to score a try converted by Johnson.
Hull’s victory looked assured after 60 minutes. The final quarter saw Hull dominate and with the penalty count mounting in Hull’s favour thanks to their superior scrummaging it came as no surprise when Hull were awarded a pushover try after 74 minutes.
Scrum-half Harvey Harding was awarded the touchdown and Johnson’s conversion sealed a convincing but hard earned maximum points victory for Hull and open up a nine-point gap on third placed Harrogate who have a game in hand.

Richard Gore

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