Andy Lynch believes being more clinical in the dying stages of a game could hold the key for his side in 2013 – and the Hull FC skipper says developing a new ruthless streak starts in pre-season training.
The vastly experienced forward has highlighted the importance of playing for the full 80 minutes following a season that saw the Black and Whites let at least eight points slip from their grasp on their way to finishing sixth on the Super League ladder, just two wins behind third-placed St Helens. With defeats to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Hull KR among the most frustrating during a campaign that saw Hull go on to record their first play-off victory in five years with a demolition of Huddersfield at the KC Stadium, Lynch admits it is one area where a formidable-looking FC squad can improve in 2013. And after returning to the club’s Elite Performance Centre for pre-season this week refreshed and raring to go, the hard-working prop has called on his teammates to lay the foundations in training over the next couple of months.
“Being better at closing out a game when we are in front is definitely an area that we’ll be looking at during the pre-season,” Lynch told www.hullfc.com. I thought we made some improvements there towards the second half of the year after a mid-season blip where we dropped a few points that we maybe should have won, but there’s still room for improvement.
“I don’t think it’s as simple as looking back at the results and saying if we’d hung on to some leads we’d have finished in the top four or anything like that, but being ruthless is something the top teams do well and we’ll have to do the same if we want to be up there next season. It’s all about our mind-set and for me it starts in training. We want to be as intense as we can be every time we are in the gym or on the field and everybody is buying into that, so hopefully we can transfer that same attitude into the full 80 minutes of our games next year.”
Moving to the KC Stadium from Bradford Bulls for an undisclosed fee before Super League XVII, Lynch went on to be an ever-present in his debut season for Hull and earned a contract extension with a series of consistent performances.
An instant hit with supporters while also selected by the coaching staff as the club’s Player of the Year, the 33-year-old led from the front during a year that saw him finish the season in his side’s top three for tackles, carries, metres and offloads.
Yet confident there is more to come both individually and as a team next year, Lynch says he believes the Black and Whites have a squad capable of competing with Super League’s best in 2013.
“At the end of the day, we don’t think finishing sixth is good enough for this club and we want to continue to improve. We’ve brought in some top players and we’ve got a really good blend of experience and youth, which should help,” he said. “We showed this year that we could often compete with the teams who finished above us, but we need to start turning them over on a regular basis if we want to climb the table.
“We’ll sit down and discuss our targets as a group and we won’t be making any bold predictions, but we are confident of improving further and that’s all we are focusing on. I’ve only been back at training this week but there is a really good spirit in the camp and some healthy competition too. We know where we need to be better next year and we’ll just keep our heads down and work hard.”
Hull FC media
LYNCH: WE NEED TO BE MORE RUTHLESSHullFC media release
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