Hull FC coach Lee Radford admits that he was happy with his squad’s first runout ahead of the new season, when they faced York City Knights in a game behind closed doors on Saturday morning.
Radford was without hooker Danny Houghton, who is recovering from wrist surgery, but he proclaimed himself happy with the performance of both his newly signed backup players Jordan Johnstone, who joins from Widnes, and Joe Cator, who has joined from Leigh.
“Joe and Jordan have really good engines on them and this game was a pat on the back for them,” Radford told League Express, while also praising some other members of his squad.
“Bureta Faraimo continues to do well and looks a different player to last year.
“And we got 40 minutes out of Matty Dawson-Jones. He has been a credit to himself with how he has conducted himself since his injury soon after the start of last season. All our physios and medical staff have paid tribute to his positive attitude and his approach to his recovery.
“Adam Swift also looked very good and combined very well with Carlos Tuimavave. He has been outstanding since joining us from St Helens and he has a great chance as things stand of starting in our first game against Leeds.
“But before then we have a busy pre-season, and you want to say to the players that your pre-season will dictate your starting 17.
“Having said that, you get some blokes who kill it in training but don’t step up in the games.
“Manu Ma’u has been great. You can tell he’s very experienced and he thinks fast. He and Mahe Fonua are bums on seats players because of the way they play the game.”
Meanwhile Radford has paid his own tribute to former opponent Rob Burrow, following Burrow’s diagnosis with motor neurone disease last week.
“The news shocked me and the interview (with Tanya Arnold) made me shed a tear,” said Radford.
“I found it really inspiring the way he spoke about tackling it.
“But in a way it typified him. He has always been a little scrapper who had to fight so much. Instead of seeing his stature as a negative he turned it into a positive.
“It’s gut-wrenching to see such a fit bloke suffering like this. I actually played with him a month ago in a charity game at Myton Warriors and he killed it – you still couldn’t get a glove on him.
“To hear that news, it’s obviously devastating for him and his family. You just have to tip your hat to him for the way he has conducted himself.
“My thoughts really go out to Rob and all of those who are closest to him, and I am sure that I speak on behalf of everybody here at Hull FC when I say that.”