Hull FC show spirit to claw back 10-point deficit in dramatic 22-22 draw at St Helens
PETER Gentle says his Hull FC players are excited about the potential of the team in the coming weeks after showing the first glimpses of their potential in a 22-22 draw at St Helens.
Having left Langtree Park with a point following an entertaining draw, Gentle took much more out the game following a second-half display which offered hope the hype from pre-season can be lived up to.
Led by an outstanding performance by Paul Johnson, the Black and Whites dominated the second half against their hosts and had enough chances to snatch victory.
Uplifted rather than despondent at only gaining a point, Gentle says his side are still a work in process, but one that is starting to show the early signs of how good they can be.
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"We are only going to get better. In the dressing room afterwards there was excitement there, but also frustration," he told the Mail.
"We know we can be much better and the players are excited because we genuinely believe we are a good football team and we will get to where we want to be.
"There was plenty of character there, typified by the performance of Paul Johnson.
"I was frustrated at half-time and I wasn't happy with the scoreline the way it was. We weren't playing as a team. But each week we are learning more about each other and in the second half we started to play as a team and the belief grew.
"We are a work in progress, but at least we are now throwing things at the opposition and making them think. You can see it is growing."
Having taken an early lead through a Jason Crookes try, Hull were forced to stage a stirring comeback after three tries during a 15-minute period of dominance turned the game firmly in Saints' favour.
FC came back in the second half, thanks to a Tom Briscoe score, but Richard Whiting proved the hero when he dived over to level the match.
Only a missed Daniel Holdsworth conversion and two hooked drop-goal attempts from the stand-off denied Hull the victory, but there were few complaints from Gentle.
"At this time of year, it is a point gained, although there were plenty of opportunities to win the game," he added.
"The longer it went on the more we felt we could win, and you could see that by where the game was played in the last 30 minutes. We are still misfiring, but you could see the character there.
"I felt on the way to the game that we came with a belief we were going to win, rather than feeling we would get flogged. There is a real belief there.
"We had our chances to win and I'm not going to blame our goal kicker for missing a conversion or a field goal. We had our chances to win and that is the frustrating thing about it."
HULL will today check on the fitness of Jason Crookes, who twisted his knee early in the game and played no further part.