“We just wanted to turn up and win it easily” – Brett Hodgson reflects on “disappointing” Hull FC defeat

Despite a resolute showing against a great Huddersfield side, Brett Hodgson’s ambition of winning the Challenge Cup as a player and a coach will have to wait at least one more year until it can be fulfilled as his Hull FC side lost 24-16 to the Giants in today’s quarter-final.

It wasn’t a bad performance by any stretch from Hodgson’s men and showed some encouraging signs but it wasn’t enough to fire the Black and Whites into the final four and ultimately it left Hodgson feeling disappointed with the Hull FC boss who believed that the showing simply wasn’t good enough on the day despite the fact they were in the game until the end.

“It was disappointing,” Hodgson said after the game, “We had too many players not performing at their best. I thought Huddersfield were very good and did exactly what we knew they were going to do, complete high and win the game based on effort.

“Rugby league is a simple game. If you’re losing your individual battles from minute one to eighty eventually you’ll come off on the wrong end of the score line and I think that’s where we were today. We just wanted to turn up and win it easily rather than ripping in and doing what’s got us into this position: hard work. I think we had moments that were good but we had too many moments where we just weren’t clinical or the effort wasn’t good enough.

“We didn’t have enough quality possession in order to ask enough question and I think that came from the first half and completing at 65%. If you’re not holding the ball then your key men aren’t going to get the ball in the positions they want.

“I felt the last part of the first half we were chasing the game rather than staying in the arm wrestle and that’s exactly what we spoke about not doing before the game.”

Late on in the game one of Hull’s better performers and try scorer Andre Savelio limped off injured. A nasty looking injury, Hodgson wasn’t too sure as to the extent of it with some big games waiting around the corner for the Black and Whites: “I don’t know,” he said, “I think it was just a contact injury.”

There were a couple of notable absentees going into the game as well with Jordan Lane and Carlos Tuimavave not in the 17. Hodgson explained their absence after the game: “Laney was on form, I felt the other boys in the middle were playing really well and Laney has a few things he needs to fix up in his own game. Carlos is still his calf. We’re monitoring and we’re trying to figure out why it’s having this longevity. Until he’s right he won’t feature.”

Despite today’s loss, Hull have started 2022 strongly and are in the mix near the top of Super League but when asked if Hull could bounce back and be a threat where the Grand Final is concerned, Hodgson was keen to speak more about development than eyeing a place at Super League’s showpiece event: “I’m not going to consider that [the Grand Final] at the moment. I think we have to learn that in these big games you have to be clinical and you have to be willing to do the things that can get you the result and that’s working hard defensively and not taking shortcuts.”

There is another huge game for Hodgson’s men waiting with the Hull derby coming next Friday but Hodgson has yet to contemplate the game: “I haven’t even thought about that [the Hull derby]. We’re going to have to lick our wounds pretty quickly on this one, review it and be honest with each other and make sure we’re processing how to get better and quickly.”

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