Much Improved Performance
Despite the score line this was a much improved performance to halt a very strong team, but there was no way through a equally tough defence.
Will Montgomery had dropped out with a groin strain, which led to a reorganisation of the team. Matthew Charters moved into the second row, with Alistair Thompson moving from the right wing, to No.6. Nathan Wooff moved to the wing, with Chris Park coming in at fullback, with his place on the bench being taken by Jacob Sutton.
Hull were third in the league, and a good win could have taken them second, if Lymm lost to fourth place Harrogate.
Hull made a fast start moving the ball at speed through a number of phases.
Kendal had an early opportunity, after a late tackle on Glen Weightman, following a kick out of defence. He then put an excellent long penalty kick deep into the Hull twenty two, and the forwards drove well from the lineout, only for Hull to steal the ball. The clearance kick was poor, and the forwards drove again, but the ball was again stolen.
There was a blow when Chris Downham was forced off with an injury after six minutes, with Garry Holmes coming off the bench.
Hull took the lead after a quarter of an hour. There was a break down the left, and the ball was then moved to right wing Stephen Hiehetah to score. This was his twenty second try of the season, as he chases a club record of twenty six. Outside half Steve Johnson added the conversion 7v0.
Despite having the better of play, Hull were conceding a lot of penalties, and their positional kicks were often poor, giving the ball back to Kendal, but a watertight defence meant there was no room for Kendal to break through themselves
After twenty five minutes, Kendal were forced into another change, with substitute Garry Holmes having to go off with an injury. Jacob Sutton came on to make his League debut.
Despite the lack of normal lineout options, Liam Hayton, Matthew Charters and Alistair Thompson were winning their own ball, and often disrupting Hull throws.
Hull finally added a second try in injury time. Kendal were attacking, but lost the ball. The ball was moved to the left where there was a long break down the wing, but the player seemed to be looking for support, rather than going for the line himself. When he was finally stopped, the ball was moved across the field, for Stephen Hiehetah, to add his second try. Steve Johnson converted again to give his team a 14v0 half time lead.
Despite the lead, Hull Director of Rugby Gary Pearce, was clearly not happy with his team’s first half performance, and the number of errors they were making.
Danny Barker had been injured at the end of the first half, and was replaced by Matthew Kaye at half time This saw another reorganisation, with Dini Noyo going onto the wing, and Kris Bratton moving into the centre.
Their Director of Rugby’s half time words had clearly not sunk in, as Hull started the second half with a number of errors, which disrupted their play.
Hull and Stephen Hiehetah’s third try came after seven minutes. Kris Bratton gathered another loose Hull kick ahead, and made a long run. When he was stopped Jacob Sutton was in support to take the move on, and made good ground, but then lost the ball in the tackle. Hull quickly moved the ball to the right, where Hiehetah bounced his way through a number of attempted tackles to go over. Steve Johnson added the conversion 21v0.
Matty Houghton had been injured in the build up to the try, but with all the substitutes already used, he played on.
Despite being well behind, Kendal continued to play well, but the suffocating Hull defence, meant progress was difficult.
There was a long period of Kendal attack, and whilst the ball was lost, good pressure meant the kick to touch was poor, to keep Kendal on the attack. When the ball was moved from the lineout, Dini Noyo appeared in the centre, and despite being stopped was not held, and wriggled through the defence, to sprint to the line for the try. 21v5, after a quarter of an hour.
The next Hull try came five minutes later. The Kendal defence had held firm against wave after wave of Hull forward attacks battering the line, but finally the ball was slipped out to left wing Callum Lancaster, who went over in the corner, for his team’s fourth try. Steve Johnson again put over the difficult conversion from close to the touchline. 28v5.
As the game entered the last ten minutes it was getting starting to get quite dark. The referee stopped play and yellow carded a Hull player for dangerous play.
With two minutes to play, despite their large lead, when awarded a penalty following a scrum offence, Hull took the kick at goal, which Steve Johnson converted 31v5.
In injury time, Matty Houghton was finally forced off, and with the final play of the game Hull added a fifth converted try, from short range. 38v7.
Despite clearly being well below their best, Hull look a very good team and if they can cut out the errors will push Lymm hard for the promotion play-off place. In Stephen Hiehetah, they have a player who will cause any defence problems.
For Kendal, the biggest concern will be the mounting injury list, with next weekend’s fixture against Birkenhead Park, who despite their position, have recently run both Wirral and Ilkley close.
KENDAL MAN OF THE MATCH : Alistair Thompson
just edging out Robbie Collinson and Dom Musetti
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