Battling show pleases coach Radford

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Hull FC coach Lee Radford refused to be too downcast after his side’s derby defeat.

He has been brutally honest about his team’s poor performances in recent weeks.

However, after going down 38-24 against Hull KR at the Magic Weekend to record a third straight loss, the former prop was more upbeat.

When reduced to 12 men after Jason Crookes’s red card for a high tackle on Liam Salter in the 50th minute, they showed real spirit to fight back from an 18-0 deficit to 18-12 and offer hope.

Radford said: “I thought the overall effort when we were down to 12 was fantastic and we probably deserved something out of the game.

“It was a red card. Some weeks you get those decisions and other weeks you don’t.

“But I was pleased with the way my team showed the determination to get back into the game.

“It was a typical derby – really gritty – and a competitive game across the park.

“We have to now tap into the energy and enthusiasm we showed when we were reduced to 12 men and bring that to the party to turn our results around.”

Hull, who dropped out of the play-off places and head to Leeds Rhinos on Friday, predictably fell away at the end

“If you look at the last try we were out on our feet a bit,” added Radford.

“But I have no qualms. The spectators ask for energy and commitment and we did that.

“Now we have just got to carry that into next Friday.”

Hull KR coach Craig Sandercock was suitably pleased as his side – who lost to Hull in Manchester after an infamous video referee decision 12 months ago – replaced their fierce rivals in the top eight.

On their opponents’ fightback, the Australian said: “I was a little concerned. We let in some soft tries and they were a little bit disappointing.

“Credit to Hull, they came back well, but I thought if we could get some decent ball we had the quality there to score points.”