Swift previews Saints clash

Last week Adam Swift made his Hull FC debut in an intense Hull Derby, having only been told 24 hours before that he was replacing the injured Bureta Faraimo.

This week he has his first game against St. Helens since leaving at the end of last season.

There is no bad feeling towards the club, just an acceptance that he had fallen down the pecking order, with the emergence of Regan Grace keeping Swift out of both finals last year.

Speaking to the press before crossing swords with his former employers, does he think with Saints indifferent start to the season, it’s maybe a little difficult to gauge where they’re at?

“I don’t think it makes them necessarily look awkward. I think they went into that Warrington game a bit low on troops.

“They had enough quality to still win that game, but then they ended up with Alex Walmsley pulling out in the warm-up and bringing Joe Batchelor in.

“No disrespect to Joe, he’s a great lad, but it just jiggled around with the dynamics of the game.

“We can’t be reading too much into that, but in a way it’s sort of an advantage to them, because they’re going to be coming out all guns blazing, especially after the loss they had against Warrington.

“They’re going to be really hungry for the win against us, going into the World Club Challenge the following week.”

Does he think his new club are, for the first time in a few years, maybe the favourites against his former club this weekend?

“I think we’re quite evenly matched, I don’t want to get too over our heads at the minute, but I think the squad we’ve got now is unbelievable and we’re striving to some really good games.

“We were still very rusty in the Hull KR game, very rusty, but to still get the win is a positive for us. There are different ways of winning and we certainly did that.

“We ground out a win in the ugliest fashion, and Saints are coming here with a point to prove, and hopefully we can knock them back a few steps.”

Hull FC got their season off to the perfect start with a win at Leeds. Credit: News Images

With a thumping victory at Leeds in round one, then a scrappy win in the derby, what does that show about Hull FC so far this season?

“It shows that we’re not the finished article yet. Round one, we were absolutely all guns blazing, it took us nearly 20 minutes to grind Leeds down to get the first points on the board.

“Round two, really having a good arm wrestle against Hull KR, underestimating the side they had out on the field, and still grinding a win out.

“I think it was in about the 60th minute when they kicked for goal, and it shaved off the post and then we go and score at the other end, I think that was a real game breaker.”

Despite new coach Kristian Woolf coming in, the former Saints winger still sees the familiar shapes and combinations in his former team.

“They were a Grand Final winning side, and finished top of the league by how many points, so I don’t think it would make any sense to change anything in attack.”

Is it important to ignore what happened at Warrington last week, and just treat Saints the way you treat a game against the champions?

“I don’t think we’ve even done too much video on the Warrington game. We just know that Saints are an outstanding team, a champion side and they’re going to go for us for 80 minutes.

“We don’t really want to get too hooked up on the Warrington game, because that for them, was arguably their worst performance for two years.

Are there any particular characters in the Saints ranks who Hull need to be wary of, who will be stinging after the humbling at the Halliwell Jones Stadium?

“I think the full side, I really do. I know the lads to a tee, and for them to experience a loss like that, in the way they did, getting nilled at Warrington is going to be in the back of their minds for a while.

“Rolling into this week, they’ve got a point to prove. But I think the main foundations of the team with Jonny (Lomax), with big Al (Walmsley), they’re going to be riled up and they’re going to play some expansive footy.”

Big things are expected from Adam Swift at Hull FC. Credit: Richard Long/News Images

Having previously played in the Saints/Wigan version, how did it feel to get the win in the Hull Derby?

“It felt relieving, honestly it did.

“The game that we were in was a fast tempo game, especially for me, because it was my first game since August last year.

“It was a good test, but to grind down the win, it was complete relief and we could start to celebrate.

“But it’s something that I’ll take to my grave, it was a great derby, great debut and I enjoyed every minute of it.”

How did it feel, getting the call to the starting team just 24 hours before the derby?

“It was surreal really, I was always in the fringes, still doing the right thing and preparing.

“I was still training well and I did have the inkling that Bureta wasn’t fit at the start of the week, saying I’m sorry mate, I’m going to try this and try that.

“Then on the last day, he just said ‘no I’m still only about 80% so I’m not even going to risk it, you go for it’. So massive respect to B for that.”

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