Hull FC v Huddersfield Giants: Brett Hodgson targets consistency as he faces former club

TOMORROW’S home game against Huddersfield Giants is all about maintaining standards, according to Hull FC coach Brett Hodgson.

The Black and Whites are on a high after a 31-8 win at Leeds Rhinos last week which Hodgson felt was the best performance of his time at the club.

But consistency has been an issue for Hull since Hodgson, a former Huddersfield player, took charge at the start of last season and they have yet to record successive victories this year. Giants are one of the competition’s form teams, having lost only once in five matches and began Super League round six in second spot on the table, but Hodgson believes his side will be difficult to beat if they can repeat the sort of performance they put in nine days ago.

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“They are playing well,” he said of Huddersfield. “We’ve had a look at their strengths, but for us it is about making sure we maintain [last week’s] standards. I want to see a reaction off a good performance; against Leeds we had a reaction from a bad one.

BRETT HODGSON: Welcomes his former side Huddersfield Giants to Hull FC tomorrow. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

“We need to be at the same level every single week and I am looking forward to seeing that challenge out there on Sunday.”

Hodgson accepts, if Hull are going to compete for silverware this year, they can’t afford to follow every win with a defeat, as they have done so far.

“We are still searching for that consistency and we get a great opportunity this weekend against a great team who are playing well,” he said. “We are expecting a very tough test and it’s good because we want to compete at a level we are happy with and proud of.

“What was really pleasing last week was the manner in which we played. Our forwards were great. I know Jake Connor gets the accolades – and deservedly so – but he can’t do that without the forwards doing what they do.”

IAN WATSON: Has enjoyed a fine start to the campaign with Huddersfield Giants. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

Hull’s win last week was marred by a serious injury to forward Joe Cator, who suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in his comeback match from the same injury suffered last summer. Jamie Shaul (calf muscle) also drops out of Hull’s squad and Kane Evans serves a one-match suspension.

Manu Ma’u has recovered from a hamstring injury and could make his first appearance this season, Jordan Lane is available after a back problem and former Warrington hooker Denive Balmforth is in contention for his debut.

Giants winger Jermaine McGilvary is poised to make his 350th career appearance and coach Ian Watson had included Nathan Mason in his initial squad for the first time this year.

Huddersfield beat Castleford 36-24 in a thrilling encounter last Saturday, having led 18-0 at half-time and then gone six points behind midway through the second half. Watson admitted they can’t afford a repeat of the 20-minute spell when Tigers scored four unanswered tries, but feels the resilience shown after that will stand them in good stead.

“We won the game, lost it and then came back again and won it,” he said. “That was a real positive for us, because last year we would never have won it from that situation.”