Tony Smith highlights “cruel” aspect of Hull FC playing Leeds Rhinos and tough conditions

HULL FC head coach Tony Smith waxed lyrical about his side’s 22-18 victory over Leeds Rhinos tonight.

The Black and Whites almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and Smith underlined how different the result could have been.

“It’s a mixed response. I’m glad we came away with the win but it could easily have gone the other way and at times it looked like it was going to,” Smith said.

“I thought we improved a whole lot from last week and I thought Leeds did as well. I thought both teams were slinging it out at each other.”

Smith believed that one end of the pitch’s surface didn’t help for flowing rugby league.

“There were some mistakes, anybody who walked on that pitch it was lush the grass at one end. It was very slippery, it wasn’t conducive to great rugby league,” Smith continued.

“Last week, we had a good day for rugby league over at Hull on a sunny afternoon which allowed some expansive rugby league.

“Whilst it wasn’t raining, the ball was wet. It made it tough to play expansive and really challenge one another.

“We kept each other in the game with some of the mistakes that were made during the game.

“I thought we both showed character, they had to dig in for their supporters and they nearly came away with the win.”

Smith also brought into the question the idea of a five-day turnaround and highlighted its ‘cruelty’.

“On the back of a five-day turnaround it takes some doing to get the energy levels back up, I tip my hat off to them. It’s almost cruel to do that to those playing rugby league.”