Brett Hodgson says patience could be the key to victory against a St Helens side licking their wounds from last week’s Challenge Cup semi-final defeat.
Their loss to rivals Wigan Warriors at Elland Road was only the third loss of the season for Kristian Woolf’s side, and Hodgson is under no illusions that tomorrow’s encounter at the Totally Wicked Stadium will be a war of attrition.
The head coach says he’s learned lessons from previous defeats in 2022, and he says Hull will have to go the long way around to beat Saints on their own patch tomorrow.
“They don’t often lose two in a row, and so we are expecting the best version of St Helens,” Hodgson said.
“About our preparation this week has been knowing that we’ll need the best version of ourselves, as well. Should we deliver that, just as we did against Warrington, Catalans and Toulouse, we’ll give ourselves a great chance of being in the contest.
“I think in the games against Huddersfield and Hull KR we tried to win it too early and we didn’t earn the right to play.
“That’s something we’ve worked a lot on and it’s something we’re still improving on. We’ll need to be especially focused on that against St Helens.
“Against them, you can’t win the game early and you have to build physical and mental pressure.”
Having not been involved in the Challenge Cup semi-finals last weekend, the Black & Whites had their first blank weekend in the calendar since January.
A few sessions in training were followed by a spritely team bonding session at Tradewell Snooker Club, where the players and coaching staff got competitive in a pool tournament.
But it’s been back to the coalface this week, as Hull have been preparing for tomorrow’s tussle.
And Hodgson says there is a renewed energy about his players, having utilised the break to their advantage.
“We used the week to get some real work into the players before we had a bit of down time closer to the weekend and that was important for a few of the boys to get their bodies right,” Hodgson said.
“A couple of boys even managed to get away from rugby league completely and reset mentally rather than physically, which is just as good.
“We’ve now had a few really good sessions this week leading into St Helens and I’m looking forward to seeing a performance that we can be really proud of.”
Brett Hodgson is proudly sponsored by Cladding King. To find out more – click here