Lee Radford believes Hull FC players did themselves proud defensively on their final game of the season, despite falling to a 22-6 defeat to St Helens.

The Black and Whites were ultimately denied the chance to advance into the top five, with Castleford Tigers sealing the last spot in the play-offs, but they put on a rousing performance against the League Leaders’ Shield winners.

The damage was done in the first half, with a hat-trick from Tommy Makinson taking the game away from FC, despite a Scott Taylor try.

But, in the second half, Mark Percival and Regan Grace sealed what was ultimately a comfortable night for the visitors, and while Radford was proud of his side’s efforts on the night in defence, he claims the game highlighted a number of areas to improve on.

“Defensively, I’m really really pleased. Offensively this last month has shown us some areas of improvements and give us some real focus for the off-season.” he said.

“Obviously losing Danny Houghton (calf) was a real blow for us but it shouldn’t have impacted us like it did. The fluency wasn’t there, but this last month has obviously shown us where we need to improve on.”

Hull FC's Mark Minichiello against St Helens
Hull FC's Mark Minichiello against St Helens

The result means Hull finish sixth, missing out on the play-offs through points difference alone, but that didn’t stop the fans from cheering their side on throughout the game and Radford reserved special praise for the crowd.

“I thought it was awesome,” he added. “Honestly I’ve had some real flak this last month and rightly so with some of the performances you expect that as a head coach.

“But I can’t thank them enough for getting behind the team, the noise they made in certain periods of the game. You don’t realise the impact it has on the side and I’ve been there and played in front of that crowd so I know you can find the extra little effort when they’re as vocal as that.

“The chairman spoke about building relationships and that’s something we’re going to really work on.”

 

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