Tony Smith sends message to Hull FC supporters and makes defensive promise

A huge crowd were at the MKM Stadium to see Hull FC beat Castleford.

Tony Smith was full of praise for the huge 15,383 crowd that watched Hull FC’s Super League opener on Sunday afternoon. They were treated to what turned out to be a rugby league thriller, with the home side edging home 32-30 after leading 32-6.

Whilst providing some slick attacking rugby, Hull also have areas to tighten up on. However, Smith was delighted to get the win and was very appreciative of the support, with the East and West Stands sold out and home fans in the North Stand for the first time.

The club’s head coach also apologised for the way the second half unfolded but also gave credit to Castleford in what was a spirited end to the game.

“Unreal – it was great,” Smith told Hull Live. “I mean it. They were getting us home. It was brilliant. When we needed a lift, they lifted us.

“It was a great atmosphere. Hopefully, they’ve been entertained enough. I hope they’ve seen enough in us to keep coming back.

“I’m sorry about some of the other parts of the entertainment. Not quite a horror show, but some of us like to get scared with horror movies and scary movies.

“There was a bit of that for all of us in the second half, but it was a good outcome in the end. Hopefully, we’ll get plenty more through the gates.”

Hull lead 26-6 at half-time and extended that to 32-6 after Danny Houghton’s try. However, Castleford turned it on after that, posting four quick-fire tries to set up a grandstand finish.

Smith took his hat off to the visitors for that, but also acknowledge Hull need to be better in defence in the coming weeks and months.

“You’ve got to credit Castleford as well for the entertainment,” Smith added. “They threw caution to the wind in the second half and threw some really good plays at us. At the same time I’m saying our defence wasn’t good enough, I don’t want to take away from them. They did some good stuff.”

Asked what the improvements are going into the Leeds game, Smith said with a smirk: “First is defence, second is defence and third is defence. After that, we’ll work on our defence.”