Gentle talks up home comforts
Hull FC will bank on their impressive home record to see them past Huddersfield Giants in tomorrow’s Super League elimination play-off.
The Black and Whites have lost just once at the KC Stadium in the league in coach Peter Gentle’s first season in charge, although the Giants triumphed there in the Challenge Cup.
“It makes a massive difference to be able to play a home semi,” Gentle said. “It is also a bit of a thank you to the supporters.
“They’ve played a big part in our home record and we shouldn’t underestimate the part they do play.”
Gentle is confident of making progress but is wary of a Huddersfield side that returned to winning ways in spectacular fashion last Sunday with an eight-try demolition of reigning champions Leeds Rhions, and has pinpointed former Hull half-back Danny Brough as a key threat.
“They are very dangerous,” he said. “Like us, they have had a disrupted season with players leaving, the coach leaving, injuries and all sorts of things but they seem to have overcome that now.
“They had a good win against Leeds. Danny Brough was exceptional in that game.
“We are going to have to be better than we have been in the last two weeks and that is going to have to keep happening for the next month. We will need to keep improving to stay in this competition.”
Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson was delighted with his side’s victory over the Rhinos, especially after going down to 12 men with the early dismissal of Luke O’Donnell.
“We put ourselves a performance together that got us a really good win,” he said. “It is something we were confident we could achieve and it has given us some momentum now moving forward.
“There were some circumstances in the game where we could quite easily have folded but we knuckled down and got on with it.
“We didn’t use anything as an excuse. We just moved on, continued doing what we wanted to do and worked really hard for each other.”
Anderson says his team will take heart from their Cup win at the KC Stadium as they look to prolong their season.
“It is not an atmosphere that is alien to us,” he said. “We have already been there twice this year, in the Challenge Cup and Super League, and we’re one from two.
“We know what we have to do to go there and play well. When you get to this stage of the year, you show me an easy game and we will take it. Hull are a team in form and they finished above us, rightly so.
“But we know we are capable of doing some good things in our group and we have got to be confident enough in ourselves to keep doing that.”