Marc Sneyd explains why Hull FC could not afford to ‘switch off’ in Super League derby win over Hull KR
They edged home 23-22 courtesy of the scrum-half’s 73rd-minute drop goal but Albert Vete’s try straight after led to a tense and dramatic conclusion.
“The talk, not just at the end but for the full 80, was ‘don’t stop moving, don’t switch off’,” explained co-captain Sneyd.
“As, however much we don’t like KR, they play a really good brand of rugby and do keep the ball alive. It’s quite attractive to watch but to play against it’s difficult if you are not willing to work for the full 80.
“If you get lazy and clock off they’ll find you so our talk for the full 80 minutes was just about constantly moving and staying awake for the off-loads on which I feel we did an outstanding job.”
It was a first win in five games for Hull and played out in front of an electric crowd, the first time the derby has been attended by fans for 18 months.
Sneyd, 30, added: “We were saying when we were warming up how good it is to have everyone back and all the fans.
“Everyone has been looking forward to this derby since last March so for it to finish the way it did and to be as close as it was, was absolutely incredible.”
Hull’s win came at a cost, however, with stand-off Josh Reynolds (medial knee ligaments) and loose-forward Joe Cator (suspected torn Achilles) limping off in the second half.
It was coach Brett Hodgson’s first experience of the derby and he said: “It was brilliant.
“There was a different buzz around the city. People were so excited for it and you could sense something was brewing.
“It definitely lived up to expectations and the atmosphere was outstanding.”
Even in defeat, Rovers coach Tony Smith - who lost Korbin Sims and Matty Storton to injuries - echoed those sentiments.
“It was back to how we want rugby league to be played and portrayed,” he said.
“The atmosphere was brilliant. It was brilliant coming in today to the ground and in the surrounds seeing the black and white and red and white jerseys walking down the streets and to hear the atmosphere inside.
“I know there is a lot of talk about restructure and all those things in the game.
“But if that’s not part of the programme, they are missing out on a whole lot: that derby - a real genuine derby - is a highlight of a Super League season.”