Radford keen on return to Australia despite double loss

LEE RADFORD hopes to take his Hull FC side to Australia again but mix up the fixture scheduling next time.

Hull FC's Liam Watts is congratulated on scoring a try against the Illawarra Dragons. Picture by David Neilson/SWpix.com/PhotosportNZ

They completed their tour of New South Wales with a narrow 24-18 defeat to St George-Illawarra Dragons in front of more than 18,000 fans at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

It came a week after, beset by injuries, they had fallen to Wigan Warriors in Wollongong in the first-ever Super League game played outside of Europe.

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Hull, despite missing senior players Danny Houghton, Scott Taylor and Mark Minichiello, then played some thrilling football against the Dragons and only fell to the NRL side in last few minutes.

“One thing that has jumped out in the last two games is the willingness to work for one and other,” said Radford.

“We could have folded against Wigan with all the grenades that got let off in front of us but we didn’t, and tonight we kept going as well.

“Our scramble defence was great. I’d like to come back (to Australia).

“And if we had our time again I’d liked to have played the St George game first and then the Wigan game second just to give ourselves the opportunity to acclimatise and get used to the conditions a little bit better,” added Radford.

“And I think the Wigan game would then have been more of a spectacle.”

Hull certainly delivered a spectacle in the second game of the tour with two-try Albert Kelly showing all his magic while a raft of youngsters really stood up, 

“We didn’t see the best of Alby last week and he was kicking himself but he was top drawer tonight,” added Radford, whose side return home to visit Castleford on Sunday.

“I thought Brad Fash was big and it was pleasing to see him back showing what he is capable of.

“Masi (Matongo) was outstanding and I thought Jordan Lane was really, really strong as well. They’ll benefit from this trip that game massively.

“I’m just a bit disappointed we didn’t get to show that against Wigan due to the disruption in our team.”

Following Hull in the International Double Header was Wigan who succumbed 18-8 to South Sydney Rabbitohs meaning – with Leeds Rhinos losing the World Club Challenge the night before at Melbourne Storm – none of the English sides in action in Australia recorded a win.

Dave Craven is on tour with Hull FC in Australia in association with Ladbrokes.com