Coach takes responsibility for latest Hull defeat

James Gordon
Tony Smith, Hull FC, News Images.

Hull FC coach Tony Smith took responsibility as they slumped to a fourth straight defeat, at home to Leigh Leopards.

The Black and Whites trailed 16-0 at one point and despite a comeback, were eventually beaten 24-16 by the newly-promoted side.

Tries from Davy Litten, Jake Clifford and Liam Sutcliffe proved in vain as Adrian Lam’s men secured their third win of the season.

Hull have lost all four of their games in March having started the season with wins over Castleford and Leeds.

Smith said: “It’s disappointing. It took us way too long to build anything in the game. We’ve got to stop allowing opponents to hurt us before we do something about it.

“It’s consistency, that’s the big challenge, but we have to get out of this habit of starting slow and not adjusting to what our opponents are doing.

“We’ve got to make better decisions, get tougher with our defensive efforts, and start to hurt the opposition instead of ourselves.

“I’m not excluding myself from the performance. I’m responsible for them each and every week.

“I’ve got to find the right 17 for each week and make those decisions which I’m happy to do.

“Sometimes it means I’ve got to change the team, sometimes I have a choice in that and sometimes I don’t.

“We knew what they (Leigh) would try and do to us but for us to succumb to what they wanted to do was frustrating. Today reflects how our season has been, starting slow and coming home to give ourselves a chance.”

Poor discipline

Smith was particularly critical of his side’s discipline, who lost Ligi Sao to two separate sin binnings during the math.

“We lost the penalty count 11-5 and two sin binning at home, which tells me our discipline is appalling. That is self-inflicted and us hurting ourselves and we simply need to be better than that,” he explained.

“I have to get tougher, get the players tougher and get tougher as a club.”

Hull now face a tricky few weeks, with a trip to unbeaten league leaders Warrington next Saturday.

That is followed by the derby against Hull KR on Good Friday, a trip to Leeds and a home game against Huddersfield.

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