Hull FC’s injury-hit squad received an inspirational talk from a war veteran ahead of their Super 8s clash with Castleford.
Head coach Lee Radford, who heads into the game with just 17 fit players, has overseen a horrific two-month period which has seen his side busted both mentally and physically.
It culminated in last week’s horrific defeat to Warrington, which saw the Black and Whites come in for enormous criticism from fans, pundits and even their own chairman, Adam Pearson.
There’s no easing up for Radford’s men, who now take on a Tigers side gunning for the play-offs.
As part of this week’s preparation, Radford called in the war hero in an attempt to give his players some perspective on their current troubles.
“We had a talker in today who is a war veteran who has lost some limbs,” he said.
“I just wanted to get the point across that we’re in a really poor spot and it’s difficult, but nobody is losing a life as it stands to my knowledge.
“Just to try and give some of the young blokes something, a bit of a pick me up. It’s the first time they’ve experienced this, playing poorly, then having to again next week.”
Meanwhile, Radford believes the biggest challenge for him is to stop some of his players trying too hard.
The Hull chief was adamant that his side isn’t lacking effort, but instead experience. Radford brought up the performance of one of his senior players to prove his point.
“I’ll use Bureta Faraimo as an example,” he said.
“He’s the best one I can give you. Bureta last week possibly cost us three tries flying out of the line looking to kill an attacker that wasn’t his man.
“When I sit down and go through review with Bureta, his comeback is that he just wants to hit someone so hard that it gives a team a lift. I just need that energy channelled.
“I understand how frustrated we are, that you’re seeing the young lad inside of you getting targeted and you want to save him. That’s brilliant, but it’s really hurting us too. I commend them for their effort.”