‘Awesome’ practice sessions enable Hull FC and Joe Westerman to renew ambitions

Hull FC's Joe Westerman celebrates his try against Castleford. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
Hull FC's Joe Westerman celebrates his try against Castleford. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
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IT came after eight long months but Joe Westerman says Hull FC’s memorable win at champions Wigan Warriors was more the result of a fortnight’s sheer hard graft on the training field.

The East Yorkshire club finally won for the first time in 14 games with Sunday’s stunning 23-22 victory at the DW Stadium.

The success materialised with Marc Sneyd’s drop-goal making history as the first-ever regular Super League game to be decided by Golden Point – but only after Wigan had dramatically fought back to level with the final play of normal time.

“Honestly, the last two weeks has been unbelievable,” said former England loose forward Westerman, Hull having a free weekend previously due to the World Club Challenge.

“There has been pressure on, obviously, with 13 losses, but these last two weeks the mood in the camp has been awesome.

“The coaching staff and everything has been up and it is tough; it’s tough to keep us up.

The coaching staff and everything has been up and it is tough; it’s tough to keep us up. But we were awesome through the week and we showed it out there. We worked for each other

Joe Westerman

“But we were awesome through the week and we showed it out there.

“We worked for each other and we stayed in it until the last minutes.

“I know they scored late on, but we were in the game and we should have won before that.

“And what a game to watch.”

Westerman was central to much of Hull’s best play, constantly linking with his forwards and halves in midfield to get FC’s attacks going.

Lee Radford’s side played with real flair, betraying the fact they had gone 240 days without a single victory, and Wigan were truly flailing at times before staging their own comeback.

“We did play some great stuff,” added Westerman, who is set for his 300th career appearance at Huddersfield Giants this Sunday.

“When Shauly (Jamie Shaul) went through in the second half, if he’d have scored it’s 28-12.

“But we trained for it. We trained really hard for two weeks.

“We’ve not been far off against Cas and Hull KR and then out there we dug deep and everything was worth it.”

Westerman also scored his second try in as many games with a bizarre effort.

The former Castleford Tigers star, 29, collected the ball in front of the Wigan posts and fooled three defenders with an outrageous dummy, pirouetting before going over untouched as Hull built up a 16-6 lead.

“There was nowt on; I had a look up and they’d all gone!” he explained.

“So it was a simple one for me. And a little 360 to make it a bit more special.

“Now we move on, start looking to Huddersfield on Sunday and getting ready to build on it all again.”

Meanwhile, Fijian winger Ratu Naulago, who scored two tries on his Super League debut in Hull’s thrilling win, has been charged with a Grade A contact on a match official.

He received a zero match penalty notice but Hull KR captain Joel Tomkins faces much worse after allegedly questioning the integrity of a match official.

The former England second-row could now be banned for three to five matches.

He thought he had scored a try in the final quarter of Saturday’s 24-22 loss against Salford Red Devils but referee Liam Moore ruled Tomkins spilled leaving the player furious.

The Match Review Panel has ordered the 31-year-old to face a tribunal this evening.