Hull 18-46 Huddersfield: Lee Gaskell hat-trick sees Giants thrash Hull
Last Updated: 19/08/17 4:21pm
Lee Gaskell helped ruin Gareth Ellis's big night out as Challenge Cup holders Hull FC suffered a 46-18 defeat to top-four hopefuls Huddersfield at the KCOM Stadium.
The former St Helens, Salford and Bradford star scored a hat-trick and winger Darnell McIntosh touched down twice after Ellis, in his 450th career game, gave Wembley-bound Hull an early advantage.
Lee Radford's Black and Whites played with next weekend's Challenge Cup final clearly on their minds as Huddersfield responded from their previous week's defeat at Hull's final opponents Wigan.
Hull started brightly enough by twice leading early on including Ellis's proud moment in his big match - two days after announcing his retirement at the end of the season.
However, with the pressure off Huddersfield set about making one last ditch attempt to reach the play-off semi-finals.
Gaskell was at the heart of their best attacks and even when kingpin Danny Brough exited with a second-half injury, Giants never lost their rhythm.
Huddersfield twice came from behind with four tries to deservedly lead 22-12 at half-time.
After Ellis celebrated his landmark appearance with the game's opening try after six minutes, Giants hit back with the first of McIntosh's two touchdowns.
Gaskell, the provider, then accepted Kruise Leeming's off load to race over under the posts for ex-Hull favourite Brough to get his goal tally up and running.
Jake Connor's acrimonious switch from West Yorkshire to West Hull hardly endeared himself to his former fans.
So, there was more pain when the full-back finished off a sweeping handling move in front of those same supporters to restore FC's advantage.
Huddersfield, though, kept exploiting the frail home defence. Centre Alex Mellor grabbed a rare try after 31 minutes before McIntosh swept over on the stroke of half-time.
Brough took his opening period tally to three goals to give Rick Stone's visitors a handy 10-point cushion.
The former Man of Steel's 44th-minute penalty further improved Huddersfield's position with the KCOM Stadium crowd reduced to virtual silence.
Giants were not finished and it was child's play for McIntosh to pick off a pass from new dad Mahe Fonua to set-up a fifth try. Substitute Tyler Dickinson eventually rumbled over with Jordan Rankin taking over kicking duties from the injured Brough.
Gaskell scored again after 58 minutes before Josh Griffin replied for a woefully out-of-sorts Hull side. There was never any chance of a comeback and hooker Leeming and Gaskell added the gloss on victory with further tries.