Hull wait for Ellis update
Hull FC were this morning anxiously waiting to discover the extent of the foot injury sustained by new captain Gareth Ellis as they attempted to pick up the pieces from a shattering opening night in Leeds.
Ellis' much-heralded return to Headingley fell flat when he hobbled out of the warm-up and, with his foot encased in a plastic boot, he could only watch on in agony as Hull crashed to a 36-6 defeat by reigning champions Leeds Rhinos.
"It started bad and got worse," said Hull coach Peter Gentle, who added that it was the same foot Ellis fractured while playing his final season for Wests Tigers last April.
"I don't know how he did it. I was in the dressing room and he came in and said he's hurt his foot.
"I'm not going to guess what he's done, whether it's ligaments or whatever. All I know is it's in a boot at the moment. We're going to get scans and x-rays."
Gentle was forced to reshuffle his line-up at the last minute but refused to use it as an excuse for his side's defeat.
The Black and Whites were level at 6-6 after 55 minutes thanks to a try from debutant centre Joe Arundel but they collapsed in the last 25 minutes, conceding five tries.
"It was a big night for Gaz, captaining the side and being back here and it knocked the wind out of all of us but we had capable reserves," Gentle said.
"In the first half we were able to go with them. In the second half we fell apart.
"We had 13 individuals running around there. Nothing resembled what we've been doing on the training paddock. Leeds kicked it up a gear and we couldn't go with them.
"They've got a lot of players that have played well together for a long time and they just fell straight into their rhythm whereas we jumped out of whatever rhythm we had.
"We've a lot of work to do. It was a bit of reality check for quite a few of us. We knew we weren't going to be the finished article for a while yet but we're very disappointed with the way we fell apart."
Leeds also lost the services of a new player, Australian winger Joe Vickery, who went off 28 minutes into his debut with an ankle injury, but it failed to take the gloss off an impressive display by the champions.
Debutant Joel Moon was among the tryscorers, as was veteran prop Jamie Peacock, who plans to hold sidestep masterclasses at his kids activity camps this summer after jinking past Hull full-back Shannon McDonnell for his rare score.