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Either Hull FC, or the newly promoted London Broncos, would get their 2024 points haul off the big zero as the two sides met in the final game of round three of Super League XXIX, with the leagues bottom side taking on the team in tenth spot.

The Airlie Birds came into the game decimated by injuries and suspensions after a nightmare start to the season which had seen them zero from two with a big negative points difference having only managed to score a total of ten points, but they were still two places above their opponents who had managed just a single try in their two games while shipping in seventy points.

The bookies had installed the Broncos as the underdogs with a fourteen-point start on the coupon but the round had seen a couple of shocks in the fixtures earlier in the weekend.

A brilliant James Meadows 40-20 marched London downfield on thirteen and the Broncos took full advantage as Meadows got on the end of a Jack Capagnolo pinpoint grubber to the corner. The conversion was missed.

On seventeen the home side struck back with Nick Staveley crashing over the line and wriggling out of the tackle to force the ball onto the ground. Darnell McIntosh added the conversion, FC in the lead after trailing to the shock opener from London.

Just before the half hour the home side kept the ball alive on the London twenty before Matty Russell found the angle to zig-zag run through the defence and go over under the sticks. McIntosh added the conversion for a 12-4 lead.

London got within a metre of the Hull line on thirty-three before a dangerous hit from Russell was penalised by the referee. Russell was sent to the sin-bin and on the third tackle Williams went through a gap to dove over under the sticks, but the referee spotted an obstruction and video referee agreed to wipe off the score.

Lewis Martin intercepted a wayward London pass on his own forty and sprinted clear of the London chasers to go in for the third Airlie Birds try of the afternoon. McIntosh was wide with the conversion, London two converted tries adrift at the break.

A sensational Broncos try on forty-two got the visitors right back in the game. A brilliant Meadows kick to the corner was collected by Kershaw, the winger diving over to score at full stretch in the corner. Leyland bounced the conversion over off the crossbar for 16-10, London within a converted try.

Back-to-back penalties for London saw them camped in the FC twenty. On fifty-one Hakim Miloudi jumped above the Hull winger to take a kick to the corner and cross to come behind the sticks to dot down. Meadows was unable to add a simple conversion leaving his side still two points adrift.

Nu Brown extended the Hull lead on fifty-five as he supported Lingi Sau to dive over by the uprights. McIntosh added the conversion and the lead was back up to eight points.

On the hour mark Miloudi grabbed his second of the game, much easier than his first, as he again took a Leyland cross field kick to walk over the line without a Hull tackler within ten metres of him. Once again the conversion was wide, London four points adrift and a thriller of a game in front of an increasingly nervous home crowd.

Entering the last ten minutes it was all to play for.

Six minutes from time the Broncos were level as Robbie Storey intercepted a Ligi Sao pass thirty from his own line and he outsprinted Russell in a footrace for the line to score. Leyland kicked the conversion from the touchline to edge his side back into the lead with four minutes left on the clock.

Ninety seconds from the final hooter Morgan Smith stepped out of two tackles to drop to ground over the line for the game winning try. McIntosh added the conversion as the final hooter sounded for the FC win.

Hull FC got out of jail, thanks to a last-minute winner, in a game which ebbed and flowed and looked like it would be the London Broncos first win of the season with just second of the match remaining after a terrific second half comeback. Hull held their nerve and took the two points at the death which will serve as momentary relief as they struggle to get their season started. London go on to next week with zero points, anchored at the bottom of the table.

Hull FC: Walker, Russell (T, SB on 33), McIntosh (4G), Tuimavave, Martin (T), Smith (T), Brown F (T), Ashworth, Houghton, Sao, Okunbor, Staveley (T), Lane.  Subs: Brown J, Bullock, Charles, Severs. 18th Man:.

London Broncos: Leyland (2G), Kershaw (T), Storey (T), Bassett, Miloudi (2T), Campagnolo, Meadows (T), Butler, Davis, Kennedy, Lovell, Jones. Parata. Subs: Rogers, Stock, Williams, Macani. 18th Man: Davies.

Half-Time: 16-4.

Full-Time: 28-24.

Score Progression: 0-4, 4-4, 6-4, (SB), 10-4, 12-4, 16-4 : HT: 16-8, 16-10, 16-14, 20-14, 22-14, 22-18, 22-22, 22-24, 26-24, 28-24 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: London – Square – Hull – Square – London - Hull.

Referee: James Vella.

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 3rd Mar 2024 4:56 PM | Views : 3483 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES