Round eleven of Super League 2022 was the one where Hull FC had their change to boost their points difference as they welcomed the league´s whipping boys, the side adrift at the bottom, Toulouse Olympique to the MKM Stadium.
A win for the Black & Whites would lift them above the Huddersfield Giants and into fourth, and more importantly put some breathing space between themselves and the red half of the city.
The bookies gave Toulouse a sixteen-point start on the handicap coupon with no expectation that they could spring a surprise and register their second win of the season.
Toulouse opened the scoring, much to the dismay of the home support as Junior Vaivai found space after collecting a grubber kick to go in on twelve minutes. Anthony Marion added the conversion for a shock, but not undeserved, 6-0 lead based on early possession.
Within a few minutes FC were in for their own first try with Darnell McIntosh going over in the right-hand corner from ten metres after a nice passing move from the Airlie Birds. Jake Connor was unable to add the conversion, the home side still trailing.
On twenty-four minutes the home side hit the front after Toulouse failed to find touch with a penalty kick. Connor ran the ball back before Manu Ma´u created the space to provide the ball to Connor Wynne who outpaced Marcon to go over. This time Connor was able to convert, FC 10-6 ahead.
Two minutes later Joe Lovodua joined the fun with a kick off return try after Jamie Shaul made the initial running before the ball was moved right and ended up in the hands of the FC scrum half who dipped his shoulder and went in under the sticks. Connor added the conversion for 16-6, FC on a roll after weathering the early Toulouse enthusiasm.
McIntosh pounced on a Connor grubber to the corner on thirty-one for the fourth Hull try of the afternoon. Connor converted from the touchline for 22-6, the points almost on the bag.
Wynne completed his brace on thirty-six going in from five metres out to score as FC kept the ball alive. Connor hit the post with his conversion attempt, Hull taking a 26-6 lead into the sheds.
After plenty of possession Toulouse grabbed the first try of the second half when Marion somehow managed to get the ball onto the ground from ten metres out with nine minutes on the second half clock. The stand-off added the conversion to his own try for 12-26.
Debutant Denive Balmforth scored a try within two minutes of entering the field for the first time as a substitute when he was at the end of a move down the short side with Lovodua providing the final pass for the youngster to go in at the corner. Connor added the conversion for 32-12.
Connor Wynne completed his hat-trick on sixty-two with Jake Connor the provider to complete a fluid move. Connor was unable to add the extras, sparing Toulouse further blushes.
McIntosh joined the hat-trick party with fourteen minutes remaining with Connor and Tuimavave combining to release the winger to go in at the corner. Connor added the conversion from tight to the touchline for 42-12.
Kane Evans was the beneficiary of a late pass from Lovodua who could have easily scored himself with the line open. Connor added the conversion to put the Airlie Birds within touching distance of the fifty with five minutes remaining, but the scoring for the afternoon was over.
Toulouse started both halves well but, on each occasion, went downhill quickly as Hull found their grove and cut loose to score tries at will. They have done their points difference a world of good but there will be some disappointment that it wasn´t a few more. FC undoubtedly played well and didn´t allow the French side any latitude but it is starting to look desperate for Toulouse as it seems increasingly likely that they will be dropping straight back into the Championship.
Hull FC: Connor (6G), Shaul, Wynne (3T), Tuimavave, McIntosh (3T), Johnstone, Lovodua (T), Sao, Houghton, Evans (T), Ma´u, Lane, Fash. Subs: Balmforth (T), Brown, Satae, Taylor.
Toulouse Olympique XIII: Ashall-Bott, Russell, Vaivai (T), Jussaume, Marcon, Marion (T, G), Cunningham, Navarrete, White, Peuch, Stefani, Dixon, Bretherton. Subs: Pelissier, Springer, Sangare, Hansen.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 4-6, 8-6, 10-6, 14-6, 16-6, 20-6, 22-6, 26-6 : HT : 26-10, 26-12, 30-12, 32-12, 36-12, 40-12, 42-12, 46-12, 48-12: FT.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths.