Ratu Naulago needs to cut out the errors to take his game to the next level this season, according to his coach Lee Radford.
Hull FC’s flying Fijian winger was one of the breakthrough stars of 2019 in Super League, signing for the club following a successful trial while still in the army and going on to score 15 tries in 23 appearances in all competitions.
Last season’s top try-scorer has hit the ground running in pre-season, following up his two tries in a home win over London Broncos with a second-half hat-trick in Sunday’s 38-6 win at Batley Bulldogs.
Radford has no doubt about his speed and finishing ability, but has issued a fresh challenge to Naulago ahead of the 2020 campaign.
“He just finishes. He just plays and scores. His score-to-game ratio is really high,” Radford said.
“He’s blessed with natural speed and there are not too many wingers in the comp who can outrun him, that’s for sure.
“One of the things we’ve spoken to him about in the off-season was that he finished top of the error count for us last year.
“I don’t think he made one (against Batley), so he needs to keep doing that.”
Despite last season’s try-scoring prowess, Naulago’s place in the side is not guaranteed following the signing of Adam Swift and return of Mahe Fonua to the club to compete for the wing spots along with Bureta Faraimo.
Radford says that neither Faraimo nor Naulago are guaranteed their spots in the season opener against Leeds, but said: “I think both played really well in the last two games, and they have to because there’s competition there with Swifty sat in the stand and raring to go as well. It’s a good place to be.”
The Hull coach handed debuts to Josh Jones, who signed from Salford after a season that saw him included in the Super League Dream Team, and Manu Ma’u, brought in from NRL side Parramatta, at Batley and was impressed by both players.
“They’ve probably started the year the way they left off last season,” he said.
“Both of them were physically really strong and dominant. They’re going to play a big part in what we want to achieve this year.”