PA Sport

Hull end Catalans' winning run

Hull end Catalans' winning run
By PA Sport

29/04/2016 at 22:27Updated 29/04/2016 at 22:35

Lee Radford and Hull celebrated the coach's new three-year deal by ending Catalans Dragons' seven-game winning run, but only just.

Lee Radford and Hull celebrated the coach's new three-year deal by ending Catalans Dragons' seven-game winning run, but only just.

Radford's extension was announced on the morning of this clash and his side continued the form that has led to it by running out 28-26 winners.

The Black and Whites are firmly cemented in the top four as a result and are one of three clubs, Catalans and Wigan the others, to sit two points behind Super League leaders Warrington.

Catalans, for whom Pat Richards became the Super League's fourth highest point scorer by advancing his tally to 2,242, refused to go away and fought to preserve their record, even in the face of a 15-6 penalty count, two team warnings and a sin binning.

Their effort was all the more admirable given the absence of key men Todd Carney and Dave Taylor and they will head home wondering how they lost.

Clearly buoyed by a positive week - three players have also penned new deals - Hull were quick out of the blocks and ahead inside five minutes, a brilliant right-to-left move finished by Fetuli Talanoa, fresh from four tries last time out.

Everything was going the home side's way and a second try duly followed, Liam Watts and Frank Pritchard making strides through the Catalans defence and feeding Curtis Naughton.

Louis Anderson led a Catalans response with a close-range finish, but Sika Manu restored Hull's two-try lead after taking in a pass from Danny Houghton.

Marc Sneyd tagged on a penalty to get Hull out to 20-6 and they looked in complete command, only for Richards to reel them in before the break.

His first try was a 26th-minute effort from a Tony Gigot ball and then he went in again off a pass from Richie Myler, although his failure to convert both from wide out left his side trailing by six at the interval.

Hull were fortunate see Catalans waste an overlap as the second half warmed up, as Richards would have been in for a hat-trick had Vincent Duport's pass been on-point.

The second half had been largely about Catalans but that changed with 25 minutes left as Remi Casty was sin-binned for one team offence too many and, before he had even got off the field, Scott Taylor went in to extend Hull's lead.

Catalans would not go away entirely, though, and with 14 minutes left Jason Baitieri's try and Richards' goal got them to within six points.

Hull were on the rack at that point but Casty, back on the field, released all the pressure with a late hit on Leon Pryce and appeared lucky to avoid further action, while another penalty allowed Sneyd to edge Hull eight clear.

But that was quickly wiped down to two with eight minutes left as Eloi Pelissier caught the home defence napping and sped in from an offload, with Richards converting.

Catalans thought they had a chance to nick it too, Talanoa appearing to knock on as he tried an intercept 20 metres from his own line but referee Ben Thaler gave the decision the other way to the final fury of the visitors.