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DEFENCE PROVES COSTLY AS HULL KNOCKED OUT OF CUP
By Matt Holden | 03/04/2014
A downbeat Lee Radford admitted his side’s defence had cost them dearly as they crashed out of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup in a golden point defeat to Salford Red Devils.
The Black and Whites led by two scores going into the final ten minutes of an entertaining clash at the KC Stadium but tries from Junior Sa’u and Francis Meli sent an epic tie into extra-time where a Rangi Chase drop goal sealed a dramatic 37-36 win.
Speaking to www.hullfc.com after the full-time hooter, a disappointed Radford said, “Our defence cost us tonight for sure. We didn’t make them work hard enough for that result at the end and it’s a shame as some units did their job for us admirably.
“Scoring 36 points at home should be enough to get the win and we’d probably fancy our chances of hitting a drop goal over from 12 metres as well. We didn’t do that and they come up with one in extra time when their big players stepped up with that play at the end.”
Eager for a return to Wembley having lost to Wigan in last year’s final, Hull looked to have done enough to book their place in the next round as Jamie Shaul and Joe Arundel both notched a double to help them on their way to a 34-24 lead midway through the final quarter.
However, Meli led Salford’s response with a well-taken hat-trick and after Ben Crooks had nudged the Black and Whites six points ahead with a late penalty goal, Reds full back Jake Mullaney held his nerve to convert his winger’s third try from the touchline with the final kick of regular time.
Left to rue a missed drop goal attempt from Jacob Miller that could have sealed it as well as some sloppy defence, Radford felt his side were responsible for their own downfall.
“We should have defended the lead but it was a case of they score, you score. As a game as a whole, we didn’t make them work hard enough,” he added.
“We said last week that they fell away a little bit after 25 minutes but we needed to make them work hard for those 25 minutes and we didn’t do that.
“It’s a really flat dressing room and I haven’t had to say much after the game. Some of the efforts were really top drawer from some of them tonight and probably enough to win two games, but certain areas of the field are really costing us.”