Hull FC: Opportunity knocks for Jack Brown to blossom with Airlie Birds

IT TAKES time for players to get over the bumps and bruises which are an inevitable consequence of any Super League match, but this week Hull’s young forward Jack Brown is happy not to have that luxury.

BRIGHT FUTURE: Hull FC's Jack Brown. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
BRIGHT FUTURE: Hull FC's Jack Brown. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Hull will return to action against Leeds Rhinos at Headingley on Thursday, just five days after a sapping 33-26 defeat at Castleford Tigers.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, that was the minimum break teams were allowed between matches and the short turnaround gives coach Brett Hodgson and his players little time to rest and recover from their second loss of the Super League season.

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On the other hand, it also means they will not have long to dwell on that setback, which came against a team who had been well beaten in their opening three games, before getting an opportunity to put it right.

LEARNING FAST: Hull FC's Jack Brown manages to offload under pressure during the recent Super Leagu win over Wakefield Trinity Picture: Tony Johnson.

Brown, who is ever-present among Hull’s substitutes so far this season, believes the positives of getting straight back on the horse outweigh the difficulties of such limited preparation.

He revealed the need to bounce straight back was the main topic of conversation after Sunday’s game and insisted, as far as he and his team-mates are concerned, the kick off at Headingley can’t come soon enough.

“We’ve spoken about it,” the 21-year-old front-rower confirmed.

“We will put it to the back of our minds, review the game and go again straight away.

Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“It is probably a positive really; we’ll just recover, do a bit of skill and be ready to go, which I think is a good thing.”

Leeds bounced back from three successive defeats by cruising to a 34-18 victory at Wakefield Trinity last Thursday.

Boosted by the return of Harry Newman, David Fusitu’a and Rhyse Martin, Rhinos led 30-0 at half-time before taking their foot off the pedal in the second period, when they conceded three tries.

“They are good, we know what’s coming,” noted Brown of this week’s opponents.

“We know what they are about, we played them in pre-season and I guess we owe them one.”

The Hull-born forward, though, accepts the Airlie Birds will need to be much better than they were against Castleford.

“We were really disappointed with the performance,” he reflected.

“They got loads of quick play the balls and it punished us.”

The defeat at the Jungle came eight days after Hull had run in nine tries to thrash previously in-form Salford Red Devils 48-16.

The contrast between the two performances was stark and Brown admitted it was difficult to pinpoint a reason why.

He added: “Obviously we are gutted.

“It wasn’t nice in the changing room afterwards, thinking we should have won, but obviously we didn’t get the result.”

Castleford’s confidence may have been low after a poor opening to the campaign, but they were handed the perfect start to Sunday’s game with a try inside 10 seconds, when Ligi Sao spilled Jake Connor’s pass from the kick-off and Daniel Smith touched down.

“We shouldn’t have let that try in,” admitted Brown.

“We should have defended that; but I don’t think that set the tone for the match – we are a team and that should not have affected us.”

On a personal note, while Hull have yet to find any real consistency this season, Brown feels regular gametime, albeit off the bench, is carrying his career forward.

“I’m feeling positive,” he insisted of the opening weeks of the campaign.

“I am really thankful for the opportunities Brett has given me.

“He’s playing me week-in and week-out and that’s benefitting me.

“I think it is down to being given an opportunity, the more you play as a youngster, the more you tend to get better.

“Get me among the big boys we’ve got here and it really benefits me.

“They are always giving me advice and telling me what to do and what not to do and I think it’s working. I just want to keep playing as much as I can and putting my best foot forward to play every game. That’s the plan.”