It was Super League's fourth top, Hull FC, against the side fourth bottom, Warrington Wolves. Despite being at opposite ends of the table it was the visitors who were the form team coming into tonight's match, unbeaten in their last five after an abysmal start to the season. The home side had two straight wins under their belt, including last weekends victory over the league leaders.
A win for the Airlie Birds would see them top of the pile, at least for twenty-four hours, but a victory for the Wolves could see them go as high as sixth spot and crucially into the all important top eight for the first time in 2017.
The home side were slight pre-game favourites but there wasn't much in it.
It was the easiest of starts for FC when Jake Connor jumped unopposed, to collect a Marc Sneyd last play cross field kick and take two steps over the line to ground, without a defensive hand laid on him. Sneyd put the extras between the uprights for a 6-0 lead after just three minutes.
On nine the lead was doubled when Connor turned provider for Mahe Fonua to step inside the Wolves winger and stretch to ground by the right corner flag. Sneyd was again accurate with the boot as the Wolves seemed to have no answer to the FC onslaught.
On fifteen the Wolves opened their account when Matty Russell took a Stefan Ratchford miss-out long pass to fly down the wing and ground from ten metres out. Declan Patton missed the touchline conversion attempt.
On twenty-one Sika Manu saw yellow for 'overextending an opponents arm' and within two tackles of the resulting penalty Joe Westerman carved through four black and whites defenders to score under the sticks. Patton kicked the goal and were right back in it at 10-12.
Down to twelve men, and under almost constant Wolves pressure, FC took the opportunity for a Sneyd penalty on thirty-three after an off the ball infringement and give his side a 14-10 half time lead.
First blood in the second half went to FC after the Wolves had twice been forced to drop out. FC threw everything into attack and after expansive passing Connor found Jamie Shaul to score. Sneyd converted again from the touchline.
Another Sneyd penalty on fifty-three extended the lead to two converted tries.
A minute later and a Sneyd 40-20 bought the field position and two tackles later allowed Albert Kelly to push four tacklers out of the way and stretch to ground on the line. When Sneyd added the extras it was 28-10 and FC had the points in the bag, on their way back to the top of Super League.
On seventy-the Mahe Fonua intercepted a pass on his own twenty and went seventy metres before finding the supporting Albert Kelly to go over for his second of the night. Sneyd kicked the extras for 34-10 and a comprehensive win.
FC started the game brilliantly, had a little wobble when down to twelve men, but totally demolished the Wolves in the second half. The home side ended the visitors impressive unbeaten run and ensured that in taking their place on top of the pile, that Warrington will remain outside the top eight. For the visitors it was a bad day at the office as they were simply not allowed to play their game against a hungry black and whites.
Shaul (T), Fonua (T), Connor (T), Tuimavave, Michaels, Kelly (2T), Sneyd (7G), Taylor, Washbrook, Green, Manu (SB), Minichiello, Thompson. Subs: Downs, Griffin, Turgut, Fash.
Ratchford, Russell (T), Evans, Atkins, Lineham, Brown, Patton (G), Hill, Gidley, Sims, Jullien, Hughes, Westerman (T). Subs: Cooper, Dwyer, Savelio, Philbin.