Hull interim coach Andy Last proud of derby triumph

Andy Last

Interim head coach Andy Last savoured victory in his first Hull derby as the Black and Whites maintained their late-season resurgence with a 31-16 win over Hull KR to keep alive their Super League play-off hopes.

Wingers Bureta Faraimo and Ratu Naulago scored four of their side’s six tries between them at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium to make it three wins in a row.

READ: Hull KR 16-31 Hull FC: Andy Last’s Hull claim bragging rights

“It’s very sweet,” Last said. “It’s nice to be able to say I won my first home game as acting head coach and now my first derby, it’s something I’m very proud of.

“Hull KR were very good in the first 30 minutes and we struggled to get out of our own end but the introduction of Danny Houghton, Ligi Sao and Chris Satae helped turn it around.

“I asked them at half-time to fix up some areas and I was much more pleased with how we went about our business in the second 40 minutes.

“We’re starting to show some consistency in our performance and it’s nice to be sat here having won three on the bounce but the acid test is what’s coming up.

“We have to play St Helens and Wigan which will be a step up in level and a good gauge to see where we’re at.”

Hull currently remain outside the top four but could benefit from a meeting of Super League clubs on Monday which is expected to cut short the regular season and increase the number of teams taking part in the play-offs.

“I’ve just been informed there may be some changes about to take place and the big thing for us is to adapt,” Last said.

“If we’re in the six and having to play a play-off series, we will attack that with plenty of vigour.”

Man of the match was Jake Connor, who impressed at full-back in the absence of the injured Jamie Shaul, but Last revealed afterwards that Josh Griffin had been earmarked for the role until he was forced to stand down after coming into contact with brother George, one of 13 Castleford players to test positive for Covid-19.

“He had contact with George so we had to stand him down as a precaution,” Last said.

“It didn’t disrupt us because we were able to train with Jake at full-back and Ben McNamara in the halves.

“Jake was really good tonight. He’s a talented kid who makes things happen.”

Connor was taken off before the end as a precaution after damaging a knee in a collision.

In contrast to Last’s improving record, it was a third defeat out of three for Rovers assistant David Hodgson, who will hand the reins back to head coach Tony Smith when he returns from a period of self-isolation on Monday.

“You are always disappointed to lose a derby, albeit it’s on the other side of country with no fans,” Hodgson said.

“It’s a hard one to take. Hull played some good rugby at times and took their chances.

“It’s been a tough period, we’ve had three games in eight days finishing with the derby, but there was a massive improvement on the start of the game. I thought the effort was there tonight.”

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