Connect with us

Hull FC

“It’s horrible” – Tony Smith threatens wholesale Hull FC changes

Hull FC

Tony Smith has quite bluntly stated that there will have to be changes at Hull FC after a sixth Super League loss and the third instance that his side have been hit for 50+ points.

It’s been a torrid start to the season and injuries have in no way helped but FC have managed to compound those difficulties by being the most ill-disciplined side in Super League which has led to them playing a man down on far too many occasions.

Saturday’s loss to Huddersfield Giants saw Tom Grant flash the yellow card three times to Smith’s side with the boss admitting he expects a possible ban, furthering Hull FC’s woes this season with the Super League disciplinary process.

The fact they’ve been carded a league-high ten times (three reds and seven yellows) has left them under the pump and forced them to make the second-most tackles (313 per game), but it’s meant they miss 36 a game.

Tony Smith has now accepted that defence is the club’s biggest problem, telling the Hull FC website: “Defence is our problem. We marched down the field and we troubled Huddersfield enough at times offensively. We put some pressure on them and we scored some points. But we just don’t do that as regularly as we need to. If you’re succumbing in defence, you’re not building pressure, you’re reliving it.”

That poor defence was evident on Saturday as Huddersfield ran in seven first-half tries, including a score after just 55 seconds from former Black and White Adam Swift.

The Giants’ ten tries took the tally to 36 conceded in FC’s last four and Smith has now threatened the changes, promising that if players “aren’t doing it” that he’ll “find the ones that can”.

He explained: “The defensive side of the game has been our focus for a long time and some of them just haven’t got the confidence to do what they want to be able to do, so I’m going to have to find some people who can and will. We’re going to have some hurt and some bumps along the way still before we get right on top of that. We’re at that point where if some aren’t doing it, we’re going to have to find the ones that can.”

Short-term fixes won’t work at Hull FC, explains Smith

Hull FC

Credit: Imago Images

For a team in crisis there probably isn’t a better coach than Tony Smith with the Australian being the most experienced in the English game, but such is the problem at Hull FC that he’ll be required to use all of his experience to right the ship.

With 509 games of Super League experience, Smith will have seen a lot but he’s adamant that the fix will simply come from hard work and fronting up to errors.

He explained:  “I’ve been through each of the teams that I’ve coached and it’s horrible, nobody likes it or enjoys it, but it is a part of what you want to do if you’re going to be successful. You’ve got to go through some of the pain and develop some resilience and toughness.

“It’s not very very taught nowadays so when some of these things get tough, we tend not to toughen up and face up to them, and go out there and work hard. We look for excuses and short fixes and they never work. It’s about building resilience and tenaciousness where it’s developed in all of us.”

Ultimately though, Smith has put it on his players to make the change as he argued that whilst he and his coaches can do all the planning in the world, but the players need to step up and be counted.

“We’re going through it at the moment, but they’ve got to help themselves too,” he argued.

“I’ll help them and I’ll keep helping them along with my coaching staff to help them do some stuff that they need to add to their games and remove the stuff that they need to remove. When they get that mixture right, it’ll be fine, but sometimes it takes time for people to do that, because, as I keep saying, you revert back to what you’ve always done when under pressure.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must See

More in Hull FC