Smith Hails Taylor’s Legacy Ahead Of Testimonial Clash

Smith Hails Taylor’s Legacy Ahead Of Testimonial Clash

Tony Smith has hailed the impact and legacy of Scott Taylor on the Black & Whites ahead of his Testimonial Match against Wigan on Sunday.

Club News

Tony Smith has hailed the impact and legacy of Scott Taylor on the Black & Whites ahead of his Testimonial Match against Wigan on Sunday.

FC are in action for the final time ahead of the start of the new season on Sunday when they line up against the Warriors at the MKM Stadium, celebrating the career of the Hull’s home town hero.

Speaking ahead of the match, Smith said: “Tag train to train with us on Friday and say hello to the group. He’s a familiar face within our camp with most of the guys, but there are a few new players who are going out to play in his testimonial who he doesn’t know, so he came down to meet them and thank them for going out and representing our club on his behalf.

“He does things the right way, Scott, and he’s always welcome with us. I don’t only class him as a former player of mine; he’s a friend who’s earned my respect for what he’s done as a player, but even more so off the field. He does a lot of good things for a lot of good people, and we’re delighted to go out there and represent him for his testimonial.”

He added: “It’s the way that they conduct themselves and the way that they compete and support the teams that they are part of. All players do that to varying degrees, but I think Scott was pretty good in those aspects. He was putting the team first, and that’s a great attribute to have.

“Even the disappointments that he’s had, he’s been able to put them aside for the sake of his own teammates. He will continue to be spoken of and admired by those who know him. He’s earned that, and he deserves it. He’s done some good things; he’s made some mistakes too, but on the whole, he’s conducted himself like a good pro. He deserves the recognition this weekend.”

Looking ahead to the test against the Warriors, Smith assessed that challenge posed by the reigning Betfred Super League champions.

“Wigan were the benchmark last year. They were the top team all year round. They had periods where they excelled and some slumps for their standards as well, but it just shows that if you are a rugby league team that works hard, has good values and morals, and has a good work ethic, it can take you all the way.

“Matty Peet has created that sort of culture at Wigan. He’s taken them up to those sorts of levels where they might not be the best all of the time, but they’re up around there, and they’re always fighting to get better. We’ve got to be similar in that respect. They are the sort of teams that we’re trying to catch. The game will give us a good indication of where we are at this time of the year.”

And Smith is hoping to see members of his squad take the opportunity with both hands on Sunday afternoon as the Betfred Super League season nears.

“There is a lot of opportunity with Davy, Lewis and Cam all in. That’s how those guys are looking at it. We’re going to need all of our players at different stages of the season. It’s just a case of what opportunities and options are there and at what times. We’re fortunate to have a number of different options, and there’ll be different players that play each of those positions during the game.

“The excitement of playing is building up and playing a friendly against Wigan; the boys know how important it is to put out a good performance and start well for ourselves and for our supporters. It is exciting, and I think everybody is enjoying it. Hopefully, they will enjoy the match on the weekend and build into what will hopefully be a strong season for us.”

He continued: “For us, it’s about game-time, match fitness, combinations, understanding, and cohesion—all of those aspects that are necessary for Super League. It’s not about whether we win this one this week or not; it’s about how it prepares us for the competition ahead.

“We’d like to win everything that we can compete in, and it would be nice to do that this weekend, but it’s about, and I’m sure Matty is the same, getting new combinations and cohesion going. They’re going into a World Club Challenge, but I think all coaches at this time of the year are just trying to get their teams in the right sort of fitness, cohesion, and mindset to attack a long season.”