Composure called for by Radford as Airlie Birds head to hot Saints

Hull FC's Lee Radford.
Hull FC's Lee Radford.
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HULL FC coach Lee Radford knows his side must cut out the “brain snaps” at St Helens.

They head across the Pennines tonight on the back of a 36-34 win over Catalan Dragons that should have been far more convincing.

However, Hull’s defence self-destructed towards the end and Radford admitted: “If I was St Helens I’d be looking at our right edge and that has been identified.

“We’ve spoken about some of the brain snaps the right edge had and we are hoping we will see a lot more of a composed performance down that side at Saints. The communication between the players wasn’t right and it only takes one bloke to jump out his box and it affects every defender either side of him.

“We looked poor as a result of that last Friday.”

Given there are so many new combinations in his side, however, Radford is likely to give them time to settle and is expected to retain a similar side for the trip to a Saints team that was hugely impressive in defeating Warrington Wolves.

“Luke Walsh got a lot of praise for his performance last week,” he said about Saints’ debuting Australian scrum-half.

“But I thought James Roby and Jonny Lomax were head and shoulders above anyone else on the field that night.

“They have some real threats in their spine and once the pack starts winning territory it is easy for any spine to play on the back of that. We must minimise that.

“People will talk about the forward challenge, but it’s just as exciting in the backs. I’m really looking forward to it.”

It should be an emotional evening, too, as, for the first time the clubs play for the Steve Prescott Cup, in memory of the inspirational full-back who served both with distinction and fought so bravely against a rare form of stomach cancer before dying in November, having raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Former team-mate Radford said: “I’m sure there will be some emotion there for those that knew Steve and played with or against him. For myself there will be, and I’d love to get a win and dedicate it to Steve.”