Hull FC's Danny Houghton makes record-breaking 85 tackles and says: "I wish I could avoid some!"

HULL FC co-captain Danny Houghton made a record-breaking 85 tackles against Warrington Wolves but admitted: “I didn’t feel I was involved in that many, if I’m honest.”

The former Man of Steel produced his staggering feat in yesterday’s 14-14 draw with their Super League rivals, a game which had gone into Golden Point extra-time.

While Wigan Warriors’ Morgan Smithies still holds the record for the most tackles in the 80 minutes of a regular Super League match - with 72 against Salford Red Devils in 2019 - Houghton has now made the most in a game since Opta stats first started being recorded in 2003.

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The long-serving hooker said: “I didn’t even know I’d done it.

“A couple of people messaged me to say have I seen the stats from the game?

“I wasn’t aware - but then I started to feel the aches and pains of it I think!

“During the game I didn’t feel like I was involved in that many tackles if I’m totally honest.

“On the field, playing 80 minutes and then going to 90, you generally make a lot of tackles anyway.

Hull FC's Danny Houghton goes on the hunt for more tackles against Warrington Wolves (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)

“But it didn’t feel any different to your standard 50 that I tend to make.

“That’s just part and parcel of being in the middle of the field and playing the full game; you see most hookers racking 40 to 60 tackles up if they’re playing 80 minutes.

“It wasn’t as if I was going searching for the tackles or anything; maybe their game plan was to come through the middle?”

Unbeaten Hull had looked set for a fourth straight win until Jake Mamo scored in the final seconds to send the game into extra-time but no side could then force a winner.

Hull's Danny Houghton puts in one of his 85 tackles, this time on Warrington Wolves' Joe Philbin. (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)

The tireless Houghton, 32, is well-known for his defensive exploits having been crowned Super League’s ‘Hit Man’ as the competition’s top tackler over a season on five separate occasions.

“It’s just a by-product of being through that middle,” he explained.

“If I could get out wide and let some other boys make a few more, I’d happily do so.

“It’s just the by-product of playing a lot of minutes in a lot of games in the season; you do tend to rack up a lot of tackles.

Hull FC's Danny Houghton helps tackle Salford Red Devils' Kallum Watkins earlier this season. (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)

“But it’s not something I really go searching for. If anything, I’d love to avoid some of them.”

Asked what he would have said if, when he debuted for Hull in 2007, he was told he would one day make 85 tackles in a single match, he replied: “I would never have started playing. I’d have probably taken a different avenue!

“It’s something you don’t think of. When I say about trying to avoid tackles, it does sound jokey.

“But the least tackles you can do the better really, not just for myself but the team in general.

“If you’re doing so much defending we’re not doing enough attacking so we need to look after the ball a bit more than we did yesterday.”

Remarkably, as well as making 85 tackles, Houghton also ran for more than 10k in the game against Warrington and did not miss a single tackle.

The Black and Whites player - thriving again under new head coach Brett Hodgson - joked: “I think someone might have missed a couple!

“I pride myself in that sort of area and it’s a massive part of my game is defence.

“We’ve worked really hard on it, myself and as a team, and it’s something we’ve done really well over the last three weeks.

“It’s given us a real chance in games to win. Thankfully for us we’ve won three and drawn one which is really pleasing.”

Houghton’s stunning tally is also higher than the record number in the NRL, which is held by Elijah Taylor, the Salford loose forward who made 77 tackles for Penrith Panthers against North Queensland Cowboys in 2015.

Against Warrington, Houghton made 67 tackles during the regular 80 minutes, with an additional 18 tackles made in the Golden Point period.

Team-mate Jack Brown, however, will miss Friday’s game against Wakefield Trinity after picking up a one-game ban.

Hull KR’s Mikey Lewis has also received a one-match suspension along with Castleford Tigers’ Jesse Sene-Lefao.

Wigan Warriors’ half-back Jackson Hastings, 24, will return to the NRL with Wests Tigers on a two-year deal in 2022.

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