Rosslyn Park hammer Hull to stay in touch at the top
Had this been a boxing match it is doubtful whether the referee would have allowed Hull to come out for the second half - and in the end Rosslyn Park hammered the visitors 48-0 to stay second in National League One.
Hull ended the first period looking defenceless in the face of too much punishment, Park pocketing the four-try bonus before the interval.
The visitors were nothing if not game, but such was the gap in ability between the two sides on the day that this was never absorbing as a contest.
Park had most of the early play, but it was Hull who had the first chance from a sixth minute penalty.
Scrum half Isaac Green’s effort was way off target, but it proved to be the only shot at goal his side would get all afternoon.
Park went up a gear and a superb cross-kick from fly half Sam Katz saw full back Pete Hodgkinson race onto the ball and gallop over for 5-0.
Attack: Charlie Broughton leave a Hull lad on his behind
Hull tried gamely to counter, but even when playing out of defence Park looked more dangerous.
The first time Park deployed the maul they drove the visitors back a prodigious distance.
Hull were penalised, lost flanker Mark Wigham to a yellow card for a professional foul, and from a quick tap penalty Park set up a drive for flanker Harry Rowland to touch down, Katz’ conversion stretching the lead to 12-0.
Again Hull tried to piece together a decent attack but were undone when they failed to stop a diagonal run by Hodgkinson, who passed on for Ellis to canter in unchallenged for 17-0.
Another sweeping attack saw lock Will Bowley get almost to the line. Hull resisted manfully, but at a cost in penalties that saw the scrum reset until prop Stephen Johnson got his marching orders for a professional foul, only four minutes after his colleague had returned.
Eventually Park drove over, Ellis claiming his second try and the bonus point. Katz converted for 24-0 at half time.
Hull started the second half with an immense effort to get back into the match, but the home defence comfortably absorbed the pressure.
Resistance: Peter Cole comes up against some Hull defence
When Park broke out Ellis ran powerfully up the left and committed the defence before passing on to winger Dave Vincent, who scored the simplest of run-in tries.
Katz rubbed salt into the wound by landing an excellent touch-line conversion.
Hull gained a kickable penalty which they belted towards the corner for the catch and drive, but again the home defence had the measure of it.
Park replied with a strong drive to the Hull line, and again extra-legal resistance saw a Hull player sin-binned for a professional foul, this time scrum half Green. Park eventually worked the ball wide and prop Alex Lundberg went over.
The visitors had their best period of play when propelling another kickable penalty towards the corner and testing the Park defence with a period of sustained pressure. But there was an air of inevitability when Park broke out.
Lundberg had two bullocking runs up the left that committed the cover, the ball was whipped across to the right where replacement Ed Lewis-Pratt went in for Park’s seventh try.
As the clock wound down Hodgkinson received the ball around half way and simply sprinted past the defence to score between the posts without a hand laid on him. Lewis-Pratt’s conversion brought the final whistle at 48-0.
Park now face a derby clash at Richmiond.
Park: Hodgkinson; Cole, Broughton, Gower, Vincent; Katz (Lewis-Pratt); Gash (Heeks); Lundberg, Bellamy (Cobb), Ward (Liffchak); Ball, Bowley; Rowland, Broadbent, Ellis (Starling).
Moving ahead: Pete Hodgkinson breaks for the line
Eat my try: Hugo Ellis touches down
Five alive: Winger Dave Vincent scores Park's fifth try against Hull
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