Tony Smith praises ‘class act’ after four Hull FC debutants star in opening win

Hull FC played some eye-catching rugby league in their first Super League hit out with four new players making their debuts.

Tony Smith was pleased with the contributions from Hull FC’s four debutants last Sunday afternoon. The Airlie Birds’ head coach gave first competitive appearances to Tex Hoy, Liam Sutcliffe, Jake Clifford, and Brad Dwyer in the 32-30 victory over Castleford Tigers.

All four signings did their bit, with Sutcliffe getting over the try line and Hoy, Clifford, and Dwyer all coming up with try assists and further contributions to tries. All gave promising first accounts, with Clifford getting the club Man of the Match award and leading the side around the park.

Smith was delighted with his first run out, also praising Hoy as well with both Aussies still settling into a new way of playing, a new competition, and a new lifestyle.

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“He’s good – he’s a class act mate,” Smith told Hull Live when asked about Clifford’s display. “He’s a terrific young man and a terrific rugby league player who is going to get better and better when our players know him better and when he knows our players better.

“Can I also throw in there that those boys, Jake and Tex, don’t know their oppositions very well yet? When they learn more about their opponents, they’ll be better too. That takes some time. They’ve got to live over here and play over here. They’ll watch the footy and they’ll start to understand the traits of their opposition.

“We always look at our opposition and try to tip them up but there’s a difference between getting a few tips and a few highlight reels to actually watching each week and working your opponents out. Both of these young men will see some of that over the next coming weeks and learn from that as well.”

Of course, Hull’s other two debuts already know the Super League competition inside out. Joining from Leeds Rhinos, the club’s next opponents, Sutcliffe and Dwyer also gave solid accounts with Dwyer in the first half nothing short of outstanding.