Andy Last has hailed the performance of Carlos Tuimavave after a memorable afternoon for the centre helped the Black & Whites into the Coral Challenge Cup quarter-finals yesterday.
On the day he put pen to paper on a new four-year deal with the club, the Samoan international scored a brace and earned a Man of the Match accolade as Hull ran out 29-16 winners over Castleford Tigers at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Speaking on the success of Tuimavave, Last said: “Carlos has been a magnificent signing from the day he came in. He is a player with great pedigree as a junior Kiwi international, and when we brought him in, his best years were definitely in front of him. He is comfortable playing in Super League and his consistency has been outstanding.
“He is very competent and definitely in the top three of four centres in the competition.
“He is a player who comes in every day looking to improve, become more robust. He is a top athlete and I have really enjoyed coaching him and watch him develop into the player he has become.
“He is settled here with a young family here, and he will go down as one of the great overseas signigns in this club’s history. To tie him down for four more years is a great bit of business for the club.”
On the victory over the Tigers, Last added: “In terms of quality of performance, we weren’t at 100%, but in terms of character and desire, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
“We spoke about the spirit of 2005 a lot before the game, and they showed that.
“We had a lot of disruption during the match. We had used all of our interchanges with twelve minutes to go so we had boys playing out there with bumps and niggles, and to stay honest and keep moving and defending the way we did, the players deserve a lot of credit.”
Speaking on Wembley Stadium coming into sight, Last added: “It came into sight today. I learnt from John Kear back in 2005 that you have to have that belief you can win it from the very start.
“It brings out the best in us and close to our hearts as we have a number of players who won the competition back in 2016 and 2017. They have that motivation to go and get there again.”
And Last believes that the Black & White players are putting everything on the line to get through the 2020 campaign.
“They’re putting their heart and soul into every collision and contact.
“They’re pushing through the pain barrier. The cup brings out something deep inside you – credit to Castleford too as they made it a real nail-biter after a tough result on Thursday.”