Hull FC halfback Marc Sneyd has relished the freedom to express himself this season, and believes playing without pressure is a key component to his side’s success.
The 25-year-old’s performances came under some scrutiny last season, but that has only given him the drive to become an asset to head coach Lee Radford’s ranks.
Such is his form that Sneyd has also been noticed by England coach Wayne Bennett, and he was one of the players who met Bennett last Monday night to discuss the Four Nations tournament later this year.
Excelling in his new role, Sneyd pinpointed Hull’s ability to ensure they do not dwell on their mistakes if they are to remain at the top of the tree.
“The pressure has been taken off this season in that if you make a mistake you’re not going to get hammered for it,” Sneyd said
“The boys are more than happy to put in a solid defensive set for you if you do make a mistake and stick their hands up and get on with it. We’ve been celebrating a good defensive set like we’ve scored a try this year.
“I’ve been a lot happier this year playing with a free role. We’ve not played too well for maybe four or five weeks but we’re still winning games and that mentality is getting us through.”
Sneyd has featured in a Hull side that has exceeded expectations this season, and currently sits on top of Super League. But he believes there are still considerable improvements to be made.
One of those is his blossoming partnership with Carlos Tuimavave, and with Hull ending their search for a pivot in the NRL and Leon Pryce likely to depart the KCOM Stadium, their combination will continue in 2017.
“We enjoy playing and it seems to be working really well. I’ve always liked to play that way and it’s just come naturally to us, so I haven’t had to adapt at all.
“There’s always stuff to work on and we’ve still got a long way to go because we’re still quite new together, so next season, if that’s the way Hull shape up and the route they take, we’ll look to build on that.
“We’re sitting happily at the top of the table and hoping not to slip up, but we keep saying the best is yet to come.
“A lot of people are talking to us about the semi-finals and finals, but we’re not really paying attention to what’s too far ahead.”
This article was first published in League Express. Buy your copy every Monday for the latest exclusives, interviews and opinions.