Hull FC ease past Catlans Dragons into the Super League play-offs
Last Updated: 19/08/16 10:19am
Hull FC became the first side to confirm a Super League play-off semi-final berth thanks to a convincing victory against Catalans Dragons, inspired by half-back Marc Sneyd.
Lee Radford's side were far too good for a Dragons side whose own top-four hopes are fading fast. They have now lost seven of their last eight games in Super League and look increasingly likely to finish outside the four despite at one point holding a six-point cushion over the chasing pack.
Leading 22-0 at the break, thanks largely to a marvellous performance from the returning Sneyd, Hull's preparation for next weekend's Wembley showdown against Warrington continued in the same vein as they ran in a further 22 second-half points to strengthen their grip on top spot.
Hull were equally impressive in defence too, with this their second consecutive clean sheet in preparation for next Saturday's cup final.
Hull's first two tries came from the boot of Sneyd. His first real attacking kick caused mayhem in the Catalans backline, eventually allowing Dean Hadley to touch down, before Mahe Fonua exploited yet more indifferent Catalans defending in failing to deal with Sneyd's varied kicking game.
Hull's third try was created from the hands of Sneyd as opposed to his feet, with the scrum-half's cut-out pass finding its way to Fetuli Talanoa, who subsequently turned the ball back inside for Mark Minichiello to touch down.
Sneyd converted all three before adding two penalties to open up a comfortable 22-point interval lead.
Hull extended their lead almost immediately after half-time when another Catalans error allowed the ball to be shifted wide for Fetuli Talanoa to touch down in the corner.
Sneyd converted from the touchline to make it 28-0 and although he was off target for the first time 15 minutes later when he could not convert Fonua's second, it mattered little.
The half-back capped a fine individual display with Hull's sixth try before Frank Pritchard rounded off the scoring late on - with the scrum-half converting both to finish with a personal tally of 20 points.