Tony Smith says the backing of over 2000 fans in Castleford yesterday was like defending with an extra man on the field.
The Black & White army almost outnumbered the home support at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, as they basked in the West Yorkshire sunshine, watching their side progress to the quarter-finals of the Betfred Challenge Cup with an assertive 32-8 victory.
The match didn’t all go Hull’s way, however, as the side dug their heels in to defend their line inside the opening ten minutes.
But Smith praised the vocal supporters behind the players during a tricky opening spell to the tie.
“How good were they? It was like they were defending with us on our try line at the start of the game,” he told the press in his post-match interview.
“They were right there on top of the players. They sounded like they were all defending. We’re really grateful.
“It was a beautiful day for them to come and support us. They could have easily gone and done other things as well. I’m glad they chose us, I hope they’re happy and I hope we rewarded them for the faith they’ve shown in us. Hopefully, they enjoyed some of the footy as some of it was really good.”
The Black & Whites extended their winning run to four matches with their comfortable triumph yesterday afternoon.
It was the first time in the 2023 campaign that Hull FC enjoyed the luxury of having their full spine feature, and it showed at times with some flowing attacking moves, both from inside their own territory and in goodball.
Despite Smith’s beliefs that his side slightly “overplayed” in certain areas yesterday, he was still impressed with the effort his players showed to fix their errors.
“I just want my players to give everything in each game that they play. Just go out there every week and give it your all. That’s rugby league. That’s what you’re asked to do right from being a kid through to being a professional,” Smith explained.
“We did a pretty good job here. They are areas where we overplayed at times but I’d rather overplay than underplay.
“I’d rather the players go for some things and maybe mess up than be too scared to be adventurous. We’re still finding our boundaries. It’s all good.”