Hull FC turned it on in France with a superb 50-10 win against Catalans.
Here are the Five Things Up the Cream learned.
1.. Attack, attack, attack
The Hull FC attack against Catalans was sublime. Some of the tries were pure filth and are candidates for try of the season for sure.
What makes this team so prolific though is the threats they have all over the field. The right edge of Albert Kelly, Jake Connor and Ratu Naulago is lethal, but then you have Marc Sneyd, Jamie Shaul, Josh Griffin and co. It’s a team full of quality and with some added punch given the return of Josh Bowden, signing of Andre Savelio, and return to form of Mickey Paea, the forward pack is also blossoming.
There’s threats all over the field. Lee Radford has tweaked his team into another capable of carnage, but this time they are slicker, and they move the ball better. It’s an absolute joy to watch – rugby league as it’s brilliant best. As far as re-orders on silver polish go, the ball is in Hull FC’s court.
Make no mistake about it Hull FC are genuine contenders for trophies this year. When in this form no team in this country will fancy playing them.
We predicted a fifth placed finish this year but Hull now sit comfortably third. There’s daylight creeping in now and the Airlie Birds are in a great position.
They are right in the mix for the Super League play-offs and will be fancied to beat Warrington in the Challenge Cup semi-final. It’s all shaping up nicely.
3.. Josh Griffin
Josh Griffin was absolutely outstanding at Catalans. Moved to the back row, Griffin ran for nearly 200 metres, scored two tries and assisted another. He looked dangerous every time he got the ball and was nothing short of magnificent.
Radford stated mid-week that Griffin’s long-term future could lie in the back row, and that was some testament to his thought process. Griffin is a tough lad. He’s solid and has the pace to cause havoc there. Hopefully they’ll be more where that came from.
4.. The Glue
Make no mistake about it, Danny Houghton is the glue to Hull FC. At Catalans his distribution was spot on, whilst he ran from dummy half to effect, and tackled superbly.
James Roby and Daryl Clark get all the plaudits in Super League and rightly so, but Houghton is still invaluable to Hull FC.
The team are useless without him as demonstrated at the Magic Weekend. Defensively he’s the daddy and he leads by example. Been a great servant to the club.
5.. The yooooof
Under Lee Radford, Hull FC have built a conveyor belt of youngsters that have come through into the system.
Some of those came through under Peter Gentle, but they were nurtured and managed by Radford, and he’s reaping the rewards now
Chris Green and Josh Bowden have cemented their places, whilst Brad Fash has come back into the side well. Masimbaashe Matongo has come on leaps and bounds too, as has Jordan Lane, and the latest development Kieran Buchanan is doing just fine.
Remember though lads and lasses, Hull FC and Radders don’t play the yooooof.