2020 Review: Hull FC

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Hull FC are the latest of our Super League club reviews. Andrew Ferguson looks at their 2020 campaign.

The black-and-whites had a strong end of season run, where they won 4 of their last 5 games to storm into the finals, beat Warrington in the Semi Final and reach the penultimate weekend of the year before the Grand Final, where they went down to Wigan 29-2 in a disappointing end to their otherwise very solid season.

The pre-lockdown portion of the season saw Hull perform inconsistently, scoring 3 wins and 4 losses before coach Lee Radford was unceremoniously dumped, live on air by club boss Adam Pearson shortly after their 38-4 loss to Warrington.

When the competition resumed, Hull had appointed Andy Last to take over as coach. The team was besieged by continued inconsistency, best shown by their Challenge Cup appearances, which were just 4 days apart. The beat Castleford 29-16 before going down to Wigan 36-4 in a contest that they were never really in.

Turning Point

Two weeks after their Challenge Cup loss, because finally things started to click, as Hull went on a four game winning run where they beat Huddersfield 18-16, Castleford 48-6, Hull KR 31-16 and Warrington 27-14 in the Semi Final. It all ended in the Preliminary Final when they meekly bowed out with a 2-29 loss to Wigan.

What Worked

Attack. 23 of Hull's 30 players in 2020 managed to score a try, highlighting the potency of their attack across the field. Only the two Grand Finalists, Wigan and St.Helens scored more points than Hull in 2020.

What Didn't Work

Defence. Hull really were a team of two halves, of the field that is. Their attack was able to score points as easily as their defence could concede them. Only 3 teams conceded more points than Hull in 2020, which is very concerning and a something that needs to be rectified if they are to be any hope of improving in 2021.

Best Player

Carlos Tuimavave was an absolute standout for the Hull side in 2020, as seen by him picking up 3 of the 5 performance related club awards at the end of the year. He secured the clubs Player of the year award as well as the Player's Player award and Try of the year.

Rookies

Young half Ben McNamara made his Super League debut in 2020, appearing in 4 games, winning 3 of them in what was a confidence boosting start to his senior career. He was the only Super League debutant for the club in 2020.

Looking Ahead

The broom has been put through the roster at Hull FC with 10 players all departing. Ratu Naulago is going to Rugby Union, Lewis Bienek will head to Castleford, Liam Harris is off to Halifax, Ryan Johnson has been signed by Sheffield, Kieran Buchanan has accepted a deal at Batley and Albert Kelly has accepted an offer to return to Australia with the Brisbane Broncos. Ryan Johnson, Charlie Patterson and Charlie Graham have all been released while stalwart Gareth Ellis has finally retired at the age of 39, after playing 479 first class games across Australia and England, including on the International stage.

They have secured the services of tenacious Wests Tigers and former State of Origin half Josh Reynolds, a significant signing for the club.

2020 results

RoundDateOppositionResultScoreCoachCaptainVenue
SL R1Feb 2ndLeedsW30 -  4RadfordTaylorEmerald Headingley
SL R2Feb 7thHull KRW25 - 16RadfordHoughtonKCOM Stadium
SL R3Feb 16thSt HelensL18 - 32RadfordHoughtonKCOM Stadium
SL R4Feb 23rdWiganL12 - 26RadfordHoughtonDW Stadium
SL R5Mar 1stCatalansL29 - 34RadfordHoughtonKCOM Stadium
SL R6Mar 6thWakefieldW27 - 26RadfordHoughtonMobile Rocket
SL R7Mar 12thWarringtonL 4 - 38RadfordHoughtonKCOM Stadium
SL R8Aug 9thSalfordL18 - 54LastHoughtonEmerald Headingley
SL R10Aug 30thHuddersfieldW31 - 12LastHoughtonHalliwell Jones
SL R11Sep 4thWarringtonL12 - 37LastHoughtonEmerald Headingley
SL R12Sep 10thWakefieldW26 - 23LastHoughtonTotally Wicked
CC 6RSep 13thCastlefordW29 - 16LastHoughtonTotally Wicked
CC QFSep 19thWiganL 4 - 36LastHoughtonAJ Bell
SL R13Sep 24thSalfordL22 - 28LastHoughtonHalliwell Jones
SL R14Oct 1stCastlefordW32 - 28LastTaylorMend-a-Hose Jungle
SL R18Oct 8thLeedsL22 - 40LastSneydEmerald Headingley
SL R16Oct 13thHuddersfieldW18 - 16LastSneydHalliwell Jones
SL R15Oct 18thCastlefordW48 -  6LastSneydKCOM Stadium
SL R19Oct 29thHull KRW31 - 16LastHoughtonTotally Wicked
SL SFNov 12thWarringtonW27 - 14LastHoughtonHalliwell Jones
SL PFNov 19thWiganL 2 - 29LastHoughtonDW Stadium