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.
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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