Hull FC head coach Lee Radford ranks tonight’s hard-earned win over St Helens as one of the best this season.
The Black and Whites edged out the Saints 8-6 at the Totally Wicked Stadium with only two tries scored in the whole game and a Marc Sneyd penalty proved to be the difference as Hull made it four wins in succession.
Having had numerous first-team stars drop out at the 11th hour due to injuries and illness, Radford says tonight’s win is up there as one of the best so far in 2017.
“That’s the most satisfying result I’ve had this year bar none and I include the semi-final in that due to the difficulty. It was an unbelievable performance,” he said.
“I think the significance of that result is huge for us. It was the ugliest game of rugby you’ve seen, the ball unfortunately makes it that competition but what’s been thrown at us in the last 24 hours with Minichiello and Bowden didn’t pull through, Mahe knocks on my door to say his missus is due, Shaul pulls out at the end of the training session and then Albert has to play even though he wasn’t meant to with the injury he has and puts in 80 minutes like that and Fetuli pulls out this morning.
“To have all that happen leading into the game and to get a result against a team that’s flying at the moment is a really special achievement.”
Radford had to shuffle his side tonight, with utility Jake Connor stepping in at full-back for regular number one Jamie Shaul and Jordan Thompson, on his 100th club appearance, slotting in in the centres.
The FC boss paid tribute to Connor to step in at full-back late on having not prepared to play there all year and added that his side have a different mentality to the Super 8s in 2017.
“Really well. It was a tough night. He’s not trained there all season and to jump in at last minute was brilliant and he did a really good job,” said Radford.
“I think we’ve got a different mindset this time. We’ve picked up as many results in the Super 8s this time as we did last and that tells you we’re in a different frame of mind and just because of the importance of this game I’m over the moon.”