Smith Pleased With New Recruits In Dons Test

Smith Pleased With New Recruits In Dons Test

Tony Smith was impressed by his new recruits in Sunday’s pre-season victory against Doncaster RLFC.

Club News

Tony Smith was impressed by his new recruits in Sunday’s pre-season victory against Doncaster RLFC.

Eight of the Black & Whites new signings ran out against the Betfred Championship side, with Franklin Pele, Liam Tindall and Morgan Smith all scoring in their first appearance for the club.

Hull ran out 42-24 winners at the Eco-Power Stadium in their second friendly fixture of 2024.

Speaking after the match, Tony Smith said: “Most of the new boys only played half a game, but Frank and I discussed it—he wanted to play in periods for the whole match.

“He did a really long stint just after half-time, which was great. It was a way of getting match fitness for him rather than him just running up and down pitches. He wanted to play the match, and I thought he showed a lot of what he is capable of.

“There were a lot of them who got some good minutes under their belt, and they’ll get a longer hit-out in the next game. Herman punched out forty minutes, and it was the same for Ligi Sao, Carlos Tuimavave, and Liam Sutcliffe.

“I thought all of our new boys showed why they’re here. They were very positive for us, and they added to us. They put on a display to show what they’re capable of, and they’ll get better too as they get to know each other.”

Smith continued: “I really like the way they ran the ball, and I liked a lot of their defence as well. We had to do a lot of defending, and most parts of it were pretty good. They showed some desperation; we’ll get better, but it was very encouraging.”

Smith was also pleased with some of the combinations put on show by his side, adding: “I thought we showed some nice combinations with each other and that we’ve got a bit of strike power in different areas.

“That’s probably what we haven’t had in the past, so that’s encouraging. It was there for everyone to see, especially early on in the game when we ran in for three tries in no time at all.

“The worst thing for us would have been for that match to continue in that way. We were fortunate to turn over the ball and for the opposition to get some six agains which were right as well. I’m not complaining about that; there was a lot of ruck infringement from ourselves, and we need to learn from that, but I’m really pleased that there was a lot of defence to be had for us.

“We need to practice it, and we need to get good at it. We were good for long periods of time, but there are some areas to work on. We still allowed them to score a few too many, but when the young guys came on for the second half, it was really encouraging as well.

“I like that we’ve got some depth in our squad already with the young guys who came on. It makes it a bit more encouraging for me as a coach to know that they can come on and handle the situations that they’re in.”

The match ended on a sour note, with Jordan Lane involved in a heavy collision with Pauli Pauli and teammate Franklin Pele – with three minutes to play, referee Chris Kendall called time. Thankfully however, after being stretchered from the field, the back-rower was okay when he returned to the dressing rooms.

“Not long after we got back in the changing room, he was off the stretcher and sitting with everyone else. He’s okay now.

“Once a head injury gets to a certain stage, they have certain criteria and they have to go through the whole process. I thought it was very wisely handled by the officials. It was going to be a lengthy process to put Jordan on the spinal board.

“The game finished with around three and a half minutes to go. I thought it was very smart from Chris Kendall. He handled it very well.”