Hull FC 44-0 Catalan Dragons: League leaders run riot ahead of trip to Wembley
Hull were dominant in a rout at the KCOM Stadium. (Photo: Super League)

The injury-ridden Catalan Dragons arrived in East Yorkshire on Friday night with a horrendous record at the KCOM Stadium, and it was one which persisted.

League leaders with a Challenge Cup final to look forward to next week, Hull F.C. were going to take some stopping.

The French side showed promise and good spirit early on, but their rallying would quickly come to an end as Marc Sneyd set up Dean Hadley to open the scoring with 11 minutes gone.

Sneyd comfortably added two points to that afterwards, the start of an 89 per cent conversion rate for him on the evening as he scored eight of his nine kicks.

His second came a few minutes after the first, with Mahe Fonua the next to benefit from another of his teasing long passes forward. 

The third try of the game was the pick of the lot, Mark Minichiello finishing off a perfect team move to put the result beyond doubt before half time.

Tries followed for Fetuli Talanoa and Frank Pritchard, as well as another for Fonua, before the latter ensured Sneyd got one of his own for a star performance in the 44-0 rout - one which sends Hull off to Wembley on cloud nine.

Catalan started in good spirits, but couldn't keep their resistance up for long. (Photo: Super League)
Catalan started in good spirits, but couldn't keep their resistance up for long. (Photo: Super League)

Sneyd kicks Hull into high gear

The French side's fitness woes might have had them depleted, but it appeared to at least bring them together as a unit in the early stages.

Hull were expected to be rampant, given their form and the problems for the Dragons, but the visitors did well to resist some early pressure and even enjoyed a respite or two in which they threatened going forward.

However, the good start was short-lived. With just over 10 minutes on the clock, the hosts had four points on the board, which quickly became six.

Sneyd was key throughout the match, but particularly in these opening stages. It was his inviting kick that bounced fortunately into the grateful arms of an untracked Hadley in the in-goal area, and he again troubled the hesitant Catalan back line with his kicking a few minutes later, providing Fonua with his 10th try of the season.

Hull's number seven would cleanly convert after both tries, giving Hull a 12-0 lead at the halfway point of the opening period.

This opened the floodgates for the home side, and their third try just oozed confidence. A sharp, quick and fluent move saw them produce a perfect team try, with Minichiello the man to finish it off as he raced clean through - Catalan's defence in tatters.

Sneyd would continue to work his magic too with some composed kicking, simply instrumental as his side went in at the break with the score reading 22-0.

Rounding off the rout

The Dragons came out in the second half clearly exhausted already, both physically and mentally.

A number of poor errors allowed Hull to put the pressure on and they took full advantage as Jamie Shaul found Talanoa, who opened the scoring for the second installment of 40 minutes.

Jordan Thompson's persistence looked to have paid off for another Hull try 10 minutes later, but even the referee's decision to deny this for obstruction wouldn't dampen the spirits in East Yorkshire.

Fonua's second effort of the day made sure of that, with him storming the length of the field after a fantastic interception to catch the Dragons on the counter.

However, with just less than 20 minutes to go, Fonua made sure that star man Sneyd got a well deserved try of his own, doing the hard work hard and giving his teammate the space to burst into to make it 36-0, before his following kick made that 38-0.

More great build up late on ended with Pritchard collecting a loose ball to add try number seven for the night, and that was that as Hull sent out a real message of warning to next weekend's cup final opponents, Warrington Wolves.