Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
2 days ago
Sharp wants more
Hull coach Peter Sharp is hoping his side can extend their winning run in the engage Super League to 13 at the expense of Warrington - and find their form at the same time.
Sharp believes his side have put together a club-best 12-match winning run despite being below their best in recent weeks, most notably at Salford last Saturday when they needed two controversial tries to clinch a 24-20 victory.
?Defensively we are very good and have been for a few weeks now but offensively we?re a bit dusty at the moment,? admitted Sharp, who has yet to experience defeat since succeeding John Kear in April.
?We?re a bit patchy and are in and out of the game but, if we can improve ourselves offensively, we will be a very good team.
?From a coaching point of view I want my players to play well every week but you can?t do that because the competition is 28 weeks long.?
Hull were outside the top six when Sharp quit his role as assistant coach at Parramatta to try his hand in Super League but now they are within touching distance of leading duo St Helens and Leeds and the Australian is celebrating being named coach of the month for the second time.
Sharp, who was head coach of Manly for four seasons, believes his side are benefiting from the greater intensity in the English game generated by an increase in the number of competitive matches.
?The players have got to get used to the fact that, if they want to be a top side, then they need to play with intensity week in week out,? he said.
?That?s something that they are trying to come to terms with and they are getting a little bit better each week.
?Due to the nature of the competition they haven?t had to face that sort of scenario in the past but the competition is a lot more even now. Like the NRL, you have to play well every week otherwise you get beat.?
Scrum-half Richard Horne, who set a new Super League tryscoring record at Salford by scoring in 10 successive matches, will equal a club record that has stood since 1915 if he touches down on Saturday.
The impressive Great Britain international has failed to score in just one of Hull?s last 14 League and Cup matches.
Warrington are one of five teams to have beaten Hull during their inconsistent period in the first two months of the season but they have wobbled themselves recently.
However, they ended a run of five defeats with a 30-26 win over Huddersfield last week, despite being without six regulars through injury and suspension.
?I was really pleased that the young players and the few remaining senior players had got the win without simply waiting for the class and experience that we have so badly missed over the last month to filter back in to the side and win a game for us,? said coach Paul Cullen.
The Wolves have forward Paul Wood back from suspension but influential skipper Lee Briers remains the man Hull must contain if they are to keep their run intact.
?Warrington played some nice footy against Huddersfield last weekend and Lee Briers played very well,? said Sharp. ?He?s a very good player.
?They showed they were fallible, though, and if we play to our potential, we?ll be in the game, that?s for sure.?
Hull FC v Warrington Wolves, KC Stadium, Saturday July 15 2006 Hull 18-man squad: Briscoe, Blacklock, Carvell, Chester, Cooke, Domic, Dowes, Higgins, G. Horne, R. Horne, King, Lee, McMenemy, Radford, Raynor, Swain, Tony, Washbrook.
Warrington 18-man squad: Grose, Fa'afili, M. Gleeson, Kohe-Love, Reardon, Briers, Sullivan, Leikvoll, Hilton, Swann, Wainwright, Westwood, Wood, Barnett, Parker, Grix, Pickersgill, Bridge.
Referee: A Klein