HULL FC prop Andy Lynch says a repeat of the Magic Weekend disaster against Hull KR 12 months ago is “not acceptable” when the rivals reconvene in Manchester this evening.
He was captain when the Airlie Birds unfathomably let a 14-point lead slip with just 11 minutes to go, somehow losing as Rovers winger David Hodgson scored crucially at the death.
It was a painful lesson and Hull have suffered similarly in the interim but Lynch insists the side have now learned from that especially after last week’s seminal victory at Warrington. They came from behind to clinch a 26-16 win against the beaten Grand Finalists, their first success over a top-four side this term and a seventh victory in eight games.
“What happened at Magic last year proved you have to play for 80 minutes,” Lynch told the Yorkshire Post.
“We went all the way on Friday but last year we probably played for 79 and a half and just came up short at the end.
“It wasn’t good enough. This year that is not acceptable and we’ll look to put in a full 80 minutes again. We’ve seen what the rewards are now.
“We all had to believe we could do it against a top team. Going back to the play-offs last year and the start of this season, too, the last 20 minutes of games has killed us.
“But we changed things around at Warrington, all dug in deep and that last 15 was real tough.
“It could have gone either way so it does make a change for us to stick in there and get the result. It probably gives us some belief for the next few weeks now.”
Hull’s renaissance has seen them rise to sixth and if they can avenge Good Friday’s home loss to Rovers they will be knocking on the door of the top four.
They are strengthened by the return of ex-Hull KR prop Liam Watts while their opponents have been out of sorts but did rally with an impressive 44-18 win over Wakefield Trinity on Sunday.
“Everyone can say what they want about Rovers but coming into a big derby match at that big stadium, all form goes out of the window,” added ex-Bradford Bulls captain Lynch.
“Week by week I think we are getting better and we’ve just got to keep improving now.
“We can’t rest on our laurels and it will be a massive game against Hull KR.
“It’s probably as big a game as last week and on such a big stage what better way to go in with a bit of confidence.”
Hull KR’s Graeme Horne, who scored twice against Trinity, is relishing the chance to go up against his younger brother Richard, whose stunning form at scrum-half has played such a big role in Hull’s improvement.
“There’s some banter from my mum and dad and me and our kid too in derby week,” he said, having previously played at Magic with FC earlier in his career.
“My eldest brother gives a bit to each of us too and stirs the pot.
“I spoke to Rich after his game at Warrington and he is playing really well so I’m chuffed for him in that regard but hopefully it won’t be the case Saturday.
“Last year was a great atmosphere, a great game and fittingly we won it at the end.
“It was a real lift for the boys and we want that again.
“We saw in our second half against Wakefield (28 unanswered points) what we can do when we hold on to the ball and don’t give penalties away.
“That’s what we must stick to against Hull in Manchester.”