Brett Hodgson hopeful missing Hull FC duo will make Challenge Cup clash

Hull FC coach Brett Hodgson is confident that both Carlos Tuimavave and Kane Evans will be fit to face Huddersfield Giants in the quarter-finals of the Betfred Challenge Cup on Saturday.

Centre Tuimavave and prop Evans were both named in the 21-man squad to face Wigan Warriors last Thursday evening, but in the end, Hodgson decided to leave them both out, admitting he didn’t think it was worth risking them and putting them on the sidelines for a longer period.

“They were in the squad,” said Hodgson.

“But they both just started to tighten up at the end of the week. I don’t think there is any issues with either of them.

“The fact that we have another big game coming up next week, that was in the back of our mind as well, not wanting to risk anything. It just wasn’t worth playing anyone who might do himself any harm.”

Hodgson was clearly disappointed to lose the game against Wigan because of a late field-goal kicked by Harry Smith, but he is confident that his team is moving in the right direction and the results against the big teams in Super League will come.

“It was a tough contest,” added Hodgson.

“I’m unbelievably proud of the effort, which came off a short turnaround; we only had the captain’s run really to prepare for this one, so a lot of this game was getting up mentally and I thought we did that.

“Early in the game we probably had to defend too much and that probably cost us at the end. We probably weren’t clinical enough to shut it out and I thought we had more than enough chances to win the game, especially when we were 18-12 up. They are lessons that we’re still learning about each other and about certain parts of the game but I’m proud of the effort.

“A classy player on the opposition (Jai Field) hurt us twice and that was probably the difference. We spoke about stopping him but it’s harder to do than to talk about. We’ll learn lessons and we are moving in the right direction, I’ve got no doubt about that.”

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