Salford Red Devils v Hull FC - Hodgson urges Airlie Birds to put on repeat show

YOU sense it could be a few weeks before you see what Brett Hodgson’s Hull FC will truly resemble but one thing is already certain: consistency is his key.

The Australian head coach got off to a winning start against Huddersfield Giants on Sunday and will look to back that up when his side face Salford Red Devils in Betfred Super League this afternoon.

However, as impressive as the Black and Whites were in his maiden game last weekend, Hodgson has quickly made sure no one is getting carried away with themselves.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Too often in his predecessor Lee Radford’s regime, Hull followed fine displays with duds; it left Radford as befuddled as anyone.

Hodgson, who won an NRL Grand Final with Wests Tigers as a player, has made defence his priority and that was clearly evident against his former club Huddersfield.

“We looked at the review and we spoke about what could get us better,” he said.

“And how this week was an even more important week to make sure we’re preparing at the level we need to to perform.

“Consistency has been an issue for a couple of years and, as staff, our job is to make sure the players are well prepared going into this game again.

SAME AGAIN PLEASE: Hull FC's Josh Reynolds makes a break during last week's win over Huddersfield. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

“We’ve spoken about it. Now it’s about executing our plan on the weekend against a team that is very dangerous.”

Last year’s beaten Challenge Cup finalists Salford, who also reached the Grand Final in 2019, are under new command after ex-Halifax chief Richard Marshall replaced Huddersfield-bound Ian Watson.

Hodgson knows Elijah Taylor well given Salford’s Kiwi international loose forward played for Wests where he was assistant before returning to Super League.

Kevin Brown, the 36-year-old former England stand-off, worked under him when he was an assistant coach at Widnes Vikings.

REPEAT SHOW: Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

Hodgson said: “They are two of their more pivotal players.

“I thought Elijah Taylor was excellent in his first game (defeat to St Helens); he works constantly in the middle of the field and is that defensive rock that I feel teams need.

“And Kev Brown is still the one that pulls the strings in that team; his ability to create opportunities out of nothing, I think is right up there with the best in the competition.

“You have Dan Sarginson in the back as well. He’s a running threat out of broken field but, again, if we’re conncected and working hard defensively as a unit, I’m confident we’ve done the work to make sure we’re nulfiying those opportunities.”

MISSING: Josh Bowden is absent for Hull FC due to concussion. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Airlie Birds winger Adam Swift backed up the head coach’s messages.

“Consistency is a word that we’ve spoken about quite a lot around the training facility,” he said.

“What people perceived us as last year would 100 per cent be inconsistent and I think we’ve set the benchmark now for what a performance is for us.

“It’s about putting consistent rugby together now and consistent performances.

“On paper we’ve got the side to do amazing things, just like we did last year.

“But we’ve tweaked a couple of things with a new coach and I’m excited to see what the season brings.”

Swift worked with Marshall when he was St Helens assistant and recalled: “He brought some really good stuff.

“They’ve got Kev Brown in the halves and Sarginson out the back, they’ve got good outside backs and strong middles. I think 29-6 scoreline against Saints didn’t really reflect the game.

“Salford hung in for quite a while, they only started conceding points for the last 15 or 20 minutes.

“That might be the goal this week; we might have to stay in the grind for 60 or 70 minutes before we score points.

“We have to be mentally prepared to do that and I think we’ve given ourselves the best chance to do that.”

Hull wil be without prop Josh Bowden due to concussion so Hodgson could bring Brad Fash in for what would be his 100th career game.

Hooker Jordan Johnstone and winger Bureta Faraimo are also looking to make the 17, while Connor Wynne is added to the 21-man squad.

Salford welcome hooker Andy Ackers back in place of Morgan Escare.

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.