“We hold them accountable” – Last wants defensive improvement

Hull FC coach Andy Last is well aware his team must improve defensively.

The Black and Whites have conceded 398 points this season, the highest amount of any side in Super League.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday evening’s game against Huddersfield Giants, Last said: “We look more fluent offensively but there are still some issues defensively.

“We have showcased a good defence, such as our last performance against Huddersfield, where I thought we were outstanding.

“Our kick pressure and line speed was excellent in that game. We know we can defend when we do the jobs and apply themselves for the 80 minutes, and that is the challenge for this group of players.

“We can do it for 20 minutes but then there is a 10 minute spell, where we are terrible.

“There will be a game where we will do it for 60 minutes, then there is a 20 minute spell where we are terrible.

“That is where we concede points. Some of the tries we have conceded in 2020 just have not been to a level where you need them to be.

“The players are aware of it and we hold them accountable. We have gone through it on review and hopefully against Huddersfield we will see a much improved defensive performance.”

Tomorrow’s game against the Giants is crucial for Hull, with the Airlie Birds running out of time to make up the sizeable 24% on fourth placed Leeds Rhinos.

However, despite critics writing them, Last firmly believes Hull still have a chance of finishing in the play-off places.

“If we beat Huddersfield and Warrington beat Leeds then last week’s games are almost irrelevant,” said the interim Hull boss.

“We would move level on points’ percentage with Huddersfield, with Castleford then Catalans to play next.

“We are focusing on one game at a time. Our fate is still in our hands.

“The play-offs are never off the table. We keep asking this question, if I went to the group of players and said ‘do not put an effort in’ you would be run out of town.

“You have your self-pride to play for and that is important so we will be giving our best in every single game.

“If we can win every game, who knows what will happen at the end of the season.”

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