Hull ‘hitman’ Taylor plays down big tackle on Trinity’s Westerman

OF the 29 tackles that Hull FC’s Scott Taylor made against Wakefield Trinity on Friday night, there was one in particular that will have stood out for anyone watching on.

Bosh: Hull FC forward Scott Taylor put in a huge hit on Wakefield's Joe Westerman during the Black and Whites' Friday night win. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

The England prop put in a fearsome shot on Joe Westerman, his former Hull team-mate who had been leading the Trinity pack in a hard-fought Super League encounter.

It not only brought Westerman to a shuddering halt but underlined FC’s defensive superiority as they pushed on for a 20-14 win, keeping their unbeaten start to the year intact.

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Taylor, 30, recalled: “It was just one of those where the hooker got out quick and I tried leaving it as late as possible.

“But I knew if I turned in on (Kyle) Wood, Westy might have hit the gap and gone through.

“I tried to bide my time as best I could and luckily Wood released the ball a bit earlier so I could turn my focus to Westy who obviously came straight in to me.

“On hits like that it’s more about timing. It’s a laugh and a joke afterwards but I am just trying to get better and better.

“It’s always nice to get a good shot on and sometimes it fires the team up and you see a bit of a response. But looking back on the game it was a very, very small thing in my mind; it was more about getting the performance.”

Big collision: Wakefield Trinity forward Joe Westerman, left. Picture Bruce Rollinson

It was probably Hull’s scratchiest display of the year but their defence was excellent once more as they added a fourth win to the previous week’s draw against Warrington Wolves.

They head to Taylor’s former club Wigan Warriors on Thursday, opponents who have won all five games this year.

He said: “It should be a great game. Both are unbeaten and Wigan are playing really well.

“They’ve made a couple of good signings and have got Jackson Hastings and Bevan French back the last few weeks.

“Zak Hardaker is playing really well and we have them back to back – first in the league, then in the Challenge Cup.

“But we’re really happy with where we’re at and how every squad member who has been called up on has done a job.

“We just need to keep that consistency and if we can go there and keep defending like we have been – while working on our attack a bit – hopefully we can do enough to get another win.”

Co-captain Taylor is getting better with each game, too, as he looks to put an injury-ravaged and Covid-affected 2020 behind him.

“I missed a lot of last year and missed a bit of pre-season,” he explained.

“But the plan was always for me to take a few weeks to get fit, start the season off the bench and ease back into things.

“Brett Hodgson’s been really good with me. I came off the bench the first couple of weeks and was happy with how I was going.

“I knew it’d take me a few weeks to get back fully match-fit and where I need to be.

“I’ve still got a long way to work but I feel like I’m improving every week and I’m back starting now.

“I feel I’ve put in a couple of decent performances against Warrington and Wakefield.

We were disappointed not to win that Warrington game but a draw meant it still wasn’t a loss.

“We backed up five days later against a Wakefield a side who came and had a real go at us.

“It was a tough 90 minutes against Warrington and we emptied our tanks.

“Wakefield then put out their best 80 minutes yet against us but we turned up and turned up and defended our line all night.

“It was scrappy but our defence has improved a lot.

“I need to still get better but as a team we’re happy with our start and where we are.”

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