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Tony Smith says Hull FC would be ‘doing better’ if he was still head coach

Hull FC

Hull FC faced Leeds Rhinos today, with the club going into the game still searching for their second win of the Super League season. Tony Smith started the 2024 Super League season as FC coach, however, he was replaced in April after a run of heavy defeats.

FC were able to get the better of the lacklustre Rhinos side, who failed to impress during Hull’s victory. Tries from Lewis Martin, Denvie Balmforth and Cameron Scott secured victory for the Black and Whites, with all three tries coming in 10 minutes on either side of halftime.

Hull will bring in a new permanent head coach for the 2025 season, as John Cartwright joins the club to relieve interim coach, Simon Grix, from his position. The win over the Rhinos was the club’s first win under Grix’s stewardship.

Speaking as part of the punditry team during Hull’s victory over Leeds, Smith has now opened up on his exit from the club.

Smith believes Hull FC would be “doing better” if he was still head coach

Credit: Imago Images

Smith was replaces as Hull Head Coach in April following a run of heavy defeats. Smith also appeared to be losing the FC dressing room, after a public spat with Tex Hoy. Now, speaking in the build up to the game at the weekend, Smith has discussed his feelings on his FC departure.

Smith believes that the rebuild at Hull required time and patience, which he was not given by the board. He believes it was not the right decision to change coach when they did, and that he should have been given at least the full season to turn things around at the club. Smith said:

“It’s a big project. It’s time. Time went wrong. Given time and the right sort of resources and support, I don’t think we’d be in the situation that we’re in at the moment. I really don’t.

“But that’s an opinion there, Brian. I can’t back that up. It happened and I’m fine with it I’m totally at ease and there was a change of direction and so me not being there I’m okay with. However I don’t think it was a smart step or a right step at that time. By all means change the coach at the end of the season you know but let a coach go through that season then make you change.

Smith’s final game in charge of FC was a 56-22 defeat at home against the Huddersfield Giants. It was the third time in six games in all competitions that FC had conceded more than 50 points at that stage in the season.

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