Lee Radford was delighted with the manner in which his Hull FC side “muscled up” to deliver an excellent opening night win at Leeds Rhinos.
The head coach conceded he could find few negatives in the performance as they vanquished Richard Agar’s team 30-4 at a rain-sodden Emerald Headingley.
Fijian winger Ratu Naulago scored two tries and Jake Connor impressed at stand-off while new recruits such as Manu Ma’u, Ligi Sao and Josh Jones all looked the part.
Radford admitted: “The result was the most pleasing thing, first and foremost. With round one you want to get off with a win and to do that on the back of a lot of stuff we’ve been working on, it was pleasing to see. There weren’t too many disappointments in terms of performances – there were not many minuses at all – and we adapted really well to the conditions in the second half.
“We got behind our kicking game, chased hard and muscled up.
“Now we need to continue to improve but it’s a great way to head into derby week.”
Hull host Hull KR on Friday and Naulago will be hoping to carry on where he left off here.
The pacey Fijian winger, who was such a hit after switching codes as an unknown army player last term, excelled throughout.
Asked how far he can go in the game, Radford – who has a doubt over Gareth Ellis (foot) for the derby – admitted: “He can be right up there. Right up there.
“It’s his second season playing rugby league. I thought his first year happened so quickly for him and some of his tries and finishes were breathtaking.
“But he’s got off to a great start again tonight and he’s had a really strong pre-season.
“He can go for periods without touching the ball but you know he’ll get on the scoresheet; he’s like a goal scrounger at football.”
Rhinos head coach Richard Agar said: “The manner of how we conceded those tries in the first half was unlike us. To concede like we did from a kick-chase, we let it really rattle us.
“For the next 20 minutes we became a very erratic, disjointed team. But we’ve no excuses. We were beaten and well-beaten by a bigger and better team on the night.”
“The obvious thing to think is they rolled us down the middle but we brought on a lot of that.
“There’ll be no knee jerk reactions.
“We’ll look pragmatically at it and get better next week.”