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“I said it before…” – What rival coach had to say about Tony Smith and Hull FC

Hull FC head coach Tony Smith with Huddersfield Giants head coach Ian Watson

Huddersfield Giants head coach Ian Watson has spoken out in support of Hull FC head coach Tony Smith, amidst speculation that he could be close to losing his job with the Black and Whites in torrid form.

Hull FC’s nightmare start to the season continued at the weekend, losing 22-56 to Huddersfield, and conceding 40 points in the first half.

Thanks to Castleford’s win over Salford, they’re now second from bottom on points difference.

They’ve also conceded 50 points or more in three of their last four games.

A fortnight ago, speaking to the media, Smith said the message from the higher-ups was “crack on, do your job that you’re brought in to do.”

Since then though, an embarrassing derby defeat and another loss to the Giants will have only compounded the pressure surrounding him.

Despite this, Giants head coach Watson, speaking to BBC Radio Leeds, defended him.

He said: “I said it before, I said it after the game that we played him, Tony’s a great coach and he’s a great guy.

“He’s got a few injuries to deal with, but like most teams, if you get injuries and get injuries to main players, it’s very, very difficult.

“If you have to swap and change your spine all the time, it doesn’t help.

“It becomes very difficult there because you’re not building any consistency or any continuity between the players. So everything’s getting disrupted.”

It’s certainly fair to point to their numerous injuries this season, with the latest blow being to Nick Staveley, who will miss the rest of the season after suffering an ACL injury.

Hooker and club captain Danny Houghton has also had a rib injury.

A close-up as Hull FC captain Danny Houghton grimaces

Credit: Imago Images

Watson continued: “If you look what he’s had to deal with in terms of… one minute Danny Houghton’s at nine, then [Nu] Brown’s at nine, it’s kind of the unexpected.

“It’ll be the unexpected for him as well.”

Carlos Tuimavave, Jake Trueman and Jack Walker are among other players currently facing lengthy spells on the sidelines.

“Can’t speak highly enough of him” – High praise for Hull FC coach

Tony Smith, now of Hull FC, speaking to Huddersfield Giants head coach Huddersfield Giants at Craven Park.

Credit: Imago Images

Watson’s praise of Smith was strong, saying: “I can’t speak highly enough of Tony.

“Tony was real good to me as a younger coach in helping me and mentoring me and I know the detail and how passionate he is about coaching as well.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him.”

Hull FC lost 50-6 and 56-22 to Huddersfield Giants this season.

Their next game is on Friday 19th April against St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

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