The Debrief: Leigh Leopards up and running, lacklustre Hull FC, class act Matt Moylan

Drew Darbyshire
Matt Moylan Leigh Leopards Alamy

Leigh Leopards claimed their first win of the 2024 Super League season with a 54-4 demolition of Hull FC at the MKM Stadium.

It was a one-sided affair from kick-off on Saturday afternoon, with Challenge Cup holders Leigh running in nine tries to condemn Tony Smith’s side to their fourth defeat of the campaign.

The game wasn’t short of talking points.. Love Rugby League has picked out a few in The Debrief.

Leigh Leopards get their first win on the board

Adrian Lam’s side picked up their first victory of 2024, and they did it in style. It was a 9/10 performance as a collective, with the Leopards constantly causing problems for Hull FC when they had the ball in hand.

It was an impressive debut from Ben McNamara, who filled the void left by Lachlan Lam, who sat out of the game after suffering a laceration to his leg last week that needed 15 stitches.

The Leopards certainly looked something like the Leopards that we knew from last season – crisp in attack, willing to throw the ball around and solid in defence. Lam’s side will no doubt gain a lot of confidence from that performance and look to build on that heading into next week’s Challenge Cup sixth round tie against Featherstone.

Hull FC way below par

It was a lacklustre display from the Black and Whites to say the least. They were on the back foot from minute one to minute 80, with not many positives coming from that game.

After putting in an improved display against Catalans Dragons in Perpignan last weekend, Smith will be disappointed to see his side slip back into their old habits from the opening rounds.

They didn’t create much in attack and rarely troubled the Leigh defence, and will be seething at some of the tries they conceded from a defensive point of view.

On paper, Hull FC have a good team with plenty of ability – but urgent improvements are needed, starting with next week’s Challenge Cup clash with Huddersfield.

READ MORE: Former Hull FC and Wakefield winger Tom Lineham makes Championship move for 2024

Matt Moylan shows his class

The former Australia international delivered his best performance in a Leigh shirt to date. He was at the heart of everything the Leopards did in attack, with his short kicking game terrorising the Hull defence throughout.

Moylan guided his team around the park almost perfectly, and struck up a good combination in the spine alongside Ben McNamara, Brad Dwyer and Gareth O’Brien.

The 32-year-old, who was arguably Super League’s headline signing over the off-season, is starting to produce the goods for Leigh now. The Leopards have got a very special talent on their hands (or paws).

READ NEXT: Inside the rise of Leigh Leopards’ (not so) secret weapon with big kudos from Adrian Lam