Andy Last paid testament to Josh Griffin after starring in Hull FC’s play-off victory over Warrington; hours after being involved in a car crash.
The centre was among the outstanding performers as the Black and Whites overcame Warrington to move within 80 minutes of a Grand Final appearance as their own KCOM Stadium.
However, Last revealed that his inclusion was in doubt on the day after being involved in the accident.
“It’s just a normal game-day protocol for Hull FC,” Last said.
“When that phone goes; the gameday anxiety for me is absolutely horrendous because every single game day something has gone off. It’s either ‘he’s been stood down or that guy stood down’. At about 1 o’clock I sent the physio a message saying ‘I can’t believe it, all clear’ and he said don’t curse it. Ten minutes later he sent me a message saying Josh Griffin in a car accident. The panic was just; I couldn’t believe it.
“Someone pulled out on him when he was taking his little lad to the park. Fortunately for Griff and the driver he managed to swerve, there’s a little bit of damage but nobody was hurt. His lad was a little rattled but nothing a bar of chocolate couldn’t fix. He didn’t look like he was suffering any after effects, he was outstanding.”
Jake Connor also came in for praise from Last, who did his prospects of getting the job full-time no harm following the victory.
“I spoke to Jake before the game, my message to him after the work we’d done in the week was that he to not get caught up in the niggle, which can happen with Jake.
“I asked him to stay away from that as much as possible and he did that and the team benefitted from him not getting caught up in it.
“Last time we played Warrington there was a running sledging match with Chris Hill and Blake Austin, it’s just banter from being on the Great Britain tour together but we needed to make sure Jake concentrated on the game and he did that well tonight.
“There was probably still some verbals out there because the way the game is and the way Jake plays the game but it wasn’t detrimental to the team.”
He continued: “To get a performance like that, which we asked for, we needed our best 80 to beat them and we’ve got that.
“We spoke about aiming up and beating your opposite number and 1-17 I thought we did that. We were outstanding tonight, a really solid team performance and the individuals within that did their jobs well.”