Hull FC fell short in their first game back in front of supporters, losing 27-10 to Catalans Dragons.

An attendance of 5,527 was present at the KCOM Stadium to watch the game, but they left unhappy after the worst performance of the season so far.

Here’s the verdict.

Analysis

After 431 days, Hull FC welcomed back fans for their clash with Catalans and they certainly made themselves heard as they celebrated their return to the KCOM Stadium.

Three quarters of the seats inside the stadium were empty, but the atmosphere was electric at times and having spent so long away, it was probably a little emotional, too.

Unfortunately, despite the roof nearly being lifted off the West Park stadium when the team in black and white emerged out of the tunnel, Hull couldn’t start fastest.

The Dragons were determined to silence the crowd and were too physical for the home side in the opening 20 minutes or so. They dominated field position, keeping FC pinned back inside their own half and making them kick from deep.

They took the lead, too, when James Maloney slotted a penalty from in front of the sticks.

However, Hull grew into the game as the first half approached its midway point. Chris Satae, Ligi Sao, Josh Griffin and others matched up to the French.

James Maloney was sin-binned for dissent and with that, Hull had the wind in their sails and they made the most of their numerical advantage as Mahe Fonua touched down in the corner.

The winger still had plenty to do when he received the cut out pass from Jake Connor, but had the strength in his legs to beat Fouad Yaha and touch down.

FC saw Carlos Tuimavave sent to the bin minutes later for a professional foul, which gave Catalans the opportunity to level the scores, but Hull remained on top and Fonua was held up.

Fonua and Adam Swift both touched down for tries in the first half, only to see them ruled out for a forward pass in the build-up.

Josh Reynolds of Hull FC is tackled by Benjamin Garcia of Catalans Dragons
Josh Reynolds of Hull FC is tackled by Benjamin Garcia of Catalans Dragons

It was even at the break, but FC struck first in the second half as Carlos Tuimavave beat Samisoni Langi for pace to exploit a gap down the left edge before looking inside and freeing Connor, who in turn put a try on a plate for Josh Reynolds, making his home debut.

It took a bit of luck for Catalans to get their first try of the game, a James Maloney grubber bouncing off the upright and into the arms of the chasing Sam Kasiano, who gratefully fell over the line.

And, as they seized control of the middle once more with their depth of forwards, they finally silenced the KCOM, as Mike McMeeken took advantage of an overlap on Hull’s left edge.

James Maloney slotted a one-pointer with 10 minutes on the clock before Chris Satae was shown a yellow card for a high tackle.

And, with just 12 men defending, Catalans grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and made Hull pay for some poor play with two tries in the final few minutes.

First Cameron Scott dropped the ball on his own 10m line allowing Catalans to pick the ball up and score through Tom Davies.

Davies was celebrating again just moments later, beating Scott to a Sam Tomkins grubber and touching down.

Key moment

The Black and Whites struggled to match Catalans physicality at times and they paid the price in the latter stages. When James Maloney slotted a one-pointer, the result was almost beyond doubt with 10 minutes remaining and they hammered it home late in the game.

Good day for

Sports fans. Win, lose or draw, to see supporters inside the KCOM Stadium was a much-needed reminder of normality and hopefully it is a sign of things to come.

Bad day for

Brett Hodgson. The worst performance of his reign so far comes after the best so far. It’s a setback for the Black and Whites, but they’ll learn plenty from it.

Bigger picture

Hodgson’s side still have some way to go. This is the first real hiccup of the season and how they respond from this will be key, with some huge games coming up. They’ll expect to be much better against Leeds Rhinos next time out.

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Teams

Hull FC: Jake Connor; Adam Swift, Josh Griffin, Carlos Tuimavave, Mahe Fonua; Josh Reynolds, Marc Sneyd; Ligi Sao, Danny Houghton, Chris Satae; Manu Ma’u, Andre Savelio; Jordan Lane.

Bench: Jordan Johnstone, Joe Cator, Brad Fash, Cameron Scott.

Catalans: Sam Tomkins; Tom Davies, Samisoni Langi, Dean Whare, Fouad Yaha; James Maloney, Josh Drinkwater; Joel Tomkins, Micky McIlorum, Julian Bousquet; Micheal McIlorum, Benjamin Jullien; Ben Garcia.

Bench: Arthur Mourgue, Mickael Goudemand, Jason Baitieri, Sam Kasiano.

Scorers

Hull

Tries: Fonua, Reynolds

Goals: Sneyd (1/2)

Catalans

Tries: Kasiano, McMeeken, Davies (2)

Goals: Maloney (4/5), Mourgue (1/1)