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Hull edge closer to title by beating Alnwick

Hull stretched their unbeaten run to 19 games as they overcame a hard working and physical Alnwick side scoring four tries to one in the process.

Hull’s scummaging ability kept pressure on the home side throughout the match with at least two of the three yellow cards shown to Alnwick being as a direct result of Hull’s scrummage dominance.

Hull started uncertainly and they were unable to control their lineout ball losing several on their own throw. Possession was conceded as the visitors tried to vary the point of attack but perhaps pressed the game too hard in loose play as they sought to impose themselves on a lively home side.

Alnwick were defending well and mounting attacks of their own as Hull continued to falter as they struggled to find their usual rhythm. 

Even a useful looking Hull catch-and-drive 10 yards out after 28 minutes was halted when Hull were penalised and Alnwick cleared their lines.

After 32 minutes it was Alnwick who opened the scoring when their back row man James Bird kicked a penalty from 40 yards out to give his side the lead.

Hull then secured the ball from the kick off and mounted their first really cohesive attack. After Hull had retained the ball for several phases, full-back Tomasi Tanumi bumped off a tackle and the ball was kept alive for number eight Joe Stafford to blast his way through a couple of tackles and run 25 yards on his way to a 35th minute try and see Hull go in at half-time leading by two points.

The second half saw Hull’s forwards taking command at the set piece and a penalty try after 49 minutes came as just reward for Hull’s scrummaging and saw Hull easing ahead at 12-3.

Hull were now in the ascendancy and other opportunities to score went begging as Alnwick mounted a frantic but effective rearguard action. 

The visitors went close to scoring from an attacking lineout and another scrum close to the Alnwick line but despite failing to get over the line on those ocassions Hull were not to be denied.

After 64 minutes Hull’s set-piece power was used to good effect and a five-yard scrum surged forward and scrum half Harvey Harding got the touchdown with off-half Simon Humberstone adding the conversion to see Hull leading 19-3.

Alnwick tried to fight their way back into the game but when a handling move broke down on their ‘22’ metre line Hull’s second row Cameron Curry scooped up the loose ball and sprinted to the line for Hull’s fourth try securing their bonus point. Humberstone’s conversion giving Hull a 26-3 lead.

Alnwick kept trying to play open rugby and a consolation try by their full-back Scott Atkinson was just reward for their efforts but had no effect on another Hull victory as they maintained their commanding lead at the top of the league.

Richard Gore

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