Hull FC coach Brett Hodgson says “lessons learned” after Featherstone win

WITH THREE wins from three outings, and safely into the Betfred Challenge Cup quarter-finals, you would imagine Brett Hodgson would be happy with his start as Hull FC head coach.

However, following Saturday’s 34-14 third round success at Championship part-timers Featherstone Rovers – which set up a last-eight meeting with Wigan Warriors – he knows his squad is still a work in progress.

Leading 34-4 at half-time, they had the perfect situation to push on and demonstrate just how ruthless they could be.

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The Super League club failed to score in the second period, though, when James Webster’s side instead stepped up to show why they want to be considered as a potential top-flight outfit.

Featherstone’s Brett Ferres scored his first try for the club and 100th of his career while Ben Blackmore also crossed and saw another ruled out. Josh Hardcastle – who put Rovers ahead after just 52 seconds – also botched a clear-cut opportunity.

Hodgson said: “We were well below our best today. Our first half, even though it was clunky, was still good enough to put on the points. Our second half we’ll forget that in a hurry.”

Asked if that was down to Featherstone’s improvement or his side falling off, he said: “Probably a little bit of both. For me, it just shows the evolution of us as a team, we’re nowhere near where we want to get to and there’ll be some lessons learned.”

Hull gave first appearances of the season to winger Bureta Faraimo and hooker Jordan Johnstone – who both scored – as well as young stand-off Ben McNamara while veteran No9 Danny Houghton, started at scrum-half after Marc Sneyd’s late pull-out with a dead leg.

Centres Josh Griffin and Carlos Tuimavave scored two tries each in the first half.

Webster said: “We turned the ball over a hell of a lot and had a 38 per cent completion rate in the first half . We just made it so hard for ourselves.

“But the second half we looked a bit like a team. We won ten-nil and had heaps of positives.”

Featherstone Rovers: Hall; Gale, Welham, Hardcastle, Blackmore; Holmes, Chisholm; Halton, Parata, Harrison, Ferres, Day, McConnell. Substitutes: Brown, Cooper, Field, Moors.

Hull FC: Connor; Fonua, Tuimavave, Griffin, Faraimo; McNamara, Houghton; Taylor, Johnstone, Satae, Savelio, Ma’u, Lane. Substitutes: Cator, Fash, Bowden, Scott.

Referee: James Child (Dewsbury)

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