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Hull send out warning
After having their relegation from Super League confirmed last weekend, Leigh?s last rites were read out by Hull in a 76-20 victory, as the Challenge Cup finalists sent out an early warning ahead of their Cardiff date with Leeds.
Inspired by 17-year-old debutant Tommy Lee, Hull also moved clear into third place in the table, despite the absence of playmakers Richard Horne and Paul Cooke through injury.
Although Lee failed to make an impression on the scoreboard himself, the Hull-born stand-off had a hand in nearly all Hull?s tries in a performance that highlighted the conveyor belt of talent that produced players like Horne and Cooke is still very much up and running.
With acting coach Tommy Martyn aiming to prove to the Leigh board that he is an able successor to Darren Abram, his cause was not helped when Hull opened the scoring in only the second minute, Gareth Raynor collecting Shayne McMenemy?s pass to score in the corner.
Danny Brough made light of the touchline kick but could not have envisaged that he would then go on to convert a further seven tries before half-time.
On five minutes Brough?s high-kick forced Nick Owen into a knock-on, from which Raynor was able to send Garreth Carvell charging in under the posts.
Lee then sliced through Leigh?s line to feed the supporting Shaun Briscoe before the same two players combined with Paul King to send Carvell racing 40 metres to the line.
With Leigh?s confidence already shattered and trailing 24-0 after only 11 minutes, Hull refused to take their foot off the accelerator and soon extended their lead. After Craig Stapleton made a crucial knock-on near his own posts, Briscoe and Richard Whiting carved out an opening for Brough, just two minutes before Lee danced at the Leigh line and delayed his pass sufficiently for Whiting to crash over the line and score.
There was no let-up for Leigh as replacement prop Jamie Thackray soon made his mark on proceedings, walking over Owen to touch down under the posts.
With Hull 42-0 up after only 23 minutes, the fact that Leigh restricted them to just one further score before half-time can be viewed as a minor achievement. The try came when Briscoe was on hand to collect King?s pass, although not before Rob Jackson had opened Leigh?s account, completing a fine move to cross over in the left corner.
If Leigh had hoped that the second-half would offer them some respite, Kirk Dixon?s stunning 80-metre solo effort on 46 minutes soon tempered that. Brough again goaled and then did so again after Ewan Dowes crashed over, Mick Govin?s gritty effort sandwiched between the two for the visitors.
Kirk Yeaman then joined the party, collecting passes from Lee and Whiting for a quickfire double and although both tries were scored in the right corner, Brough converted both with ease to keep him on course for the Super League record of 14 goals in a game.
The record could so nearly have been his, although any real hopes he had were extinguished when his touchline effort, after Raynor?s second try, thumped the woodwork.
As Leigh lost their cool in the late stages, both Jackson and Steve Maden were sent to the sin bin by referee Steve Ganson.
Yeaman then spurned the chance of a hat-trick before Craig Stapleton and Paul Rowley added late efforts for Leigh to add a touch of respectability to the scoreline.
Hull: Briscoe, Tony, Dixon, Yeaman, Raynor, Lee, Brough, King, Swain, Carvell, McMenemy, Kearney, Whiting. Replacements: Blacklock, Dowes, Thackray, Saxton.
Leigh: Owen, Maden, Cooper, Jackson, Smyth, Wilshere, Kent, Fleary, Mears, Stevens, Stapleton, Wilkes, Leafa. Replacements: Govin, Rowley, Sturm, Coleman.
Hull (48) 76. Tries: Raynor 2, Carvell 2, Briscoe 2, Brough, Whiting, Thackray, Dixon, Dowes, Yeaman 2. Goals: Brough 12.
Leigh (4) 20. Tries: Jackson, Govin, Stapleton, Rowley. Goals: Owen 2.
Referee: Steve Ganson (St Helens)
Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for the above review