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Hull FC had the task of regaining fourth spot on their minds as they made the long trip to Spring warmth in the south of France to take on bottom placed Catalans Dragons, who are now hoping for a massive turnaround in form and fortune if they are to avoid playing in the middle eights for a second consecutive season.

Coach McNamara made eight changes from the side who had a fright against the York City Knights in last weeks Challenge Cup fifth round game including the debut of Josh Drinkwater who replaced the injury retired Luke Walsh. Lee Radford named a seventeen without goal kicker and play-maker Marc Sneyd (ill) and full back Jamie Shaul (family issues).

A brilliant Albert Kelly forty-twenty on three minutes put FC deep in Catalans territory. Three tackles into the set and Scott Taylor took four defenders over the line with him to score. Jake Connor had the kicking duties in the absebce of Marc Sneyd and added the extras.

Rather than capitulate the Dragons eased themselves into the game and on twnety minutes Braydon Wiliame was fastest to react to a kick through from Michael McIlorum. Josh Drinkwater pushed his kick over the uprights to level the scores.

Within a minute Hakim Miloudi span out of one tackle, threw a dummy and then span out of a second tackle to dive over the line and ground. Connor added the conversion for 12-6.

Tony Gigot had a try turned down on twenty-five for obstruction.

As the Dragons conceeded another penalty, and were put on a team warning, Jake Connor kicked a penalty goal to extend the lead, but right on the half-time hooter the Dragons responded through a Drinkwater penalty for 8-14 at the interval.

Two minutes after the restart and Drinkwater crashed over the line from ten metres after stepping off his left foot. Scoring under the sticks he gave himself a simple conversion to level the scores at 14-14. A minute later and Wiliame fed Tony Gigot to waltz through the chasing Hull defence to score with Drinkwater adding the conversion for a 20-14 lead.

On forty-six, a delightful Scott Taylor solo try over forty metres, going in under the sticks, gave Connor a simple conversion and the scores were level again at 20-20.

Connor kicked a fifty-fifth minute penalty to re-establish a narrow two point FC lead but it lasted just three minutes before Drinkwater kicked a forty metre effort after Gigot was held down in the tackle.

Tempers and nerves boiled over on sixty-five with a mass brawl which saw Jake Connor and Michael McIllorum being singled out and sent to the sin-bin.

Drinkwater attempted a seventy-third minute drop goal but slid the ball wide of the uprights off Danny Houghtons elbow but a minute later and a ball steal from Miloudi gifted Drinkwater the two point penalty to edge the Dragons back in front.

A seventy-seventh minute penalty, after a high tackle from Louie Anderson, gifted Connor his sixth goal of the afternoon to level the scores again, this time at 24-24.

FC’s Josh Bowden fumbled the ball on his own twenty with under sixty seconds left on the clock and on the third tackle Tony Gigot kicked a twenty metre drop goal for a 25-24 win, lifting the Dragons off the bottom of the table.

For just the third time the season the Dragons dug deep and grabbed a superb victory over a Hull side missing a couple of key stars. New signing Josh Drinkwater had the perfect debut and was inspirational in the victory. FC remain fifth but could drop to sixth should the Leeds Rhinos win tomorrow against Hull KR. The Dragons, on the other hand, push the Giants into bottom spot as they begin their climb up the ladder.

Dragons: Gigot, Broughton, Mead, Wiliame (T), Tierney, Langi, Drinkwater (T, 5G), Casty, McIlorum (SB on 65), Simon, Jullien, Garcia, Bird.  Subs: Moa, Anderson, Baitieri, Maria.

FC: Miloudi (T), Faraimo, Connor (6G, SB on 65), Griffin, Talanoa. Kelly, Abdull, Taylor (2T), Houghton, Bowden, Manu, Minichiello, Hadley.  Subs: Tuimavave, Paea, Lane, Matongo.

Referee: James Child.

Half-Time: 8-14.

Full-Time: 25-24.

Attendance: .

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 28th Apr 2018 7:16 PM | Views : 1513 | Replies : 1 | BACK TO STORIES
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